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FG calls first witness as IPOB members’ trial begins

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Supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

The trial of the four defendants in the case of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) began yesterday with the calling of first witness.

The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, had earlier maintained that the trial was not going to be secret but that the identity of witnesses would be protected from the public. Consequently, the witness gave his testimonies behind the screen.

Consequently, the first prosecution witness, an investigation officer with the Department of State Service (DSS), referred to as Mr. A.B, was protected from the public view.

Bright Chimeze, Benjamin Madubugwu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and David Nwawuisi, who had been re-arraigned, are being tried for treasonable felony brought against them by the Federal Government alongside the self-acclaimed IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is at large.

Led in evidence by the prosecution, Shuaibu Labaran, the witness told the court that he could only identify Bright Chimezie (first defendant) and Chidiebere Onwudiwe (second defendant), and as such, has nothing to say about two other defendants.

The witness, who claimed to have worked with the DSS for over six years, stated that in the cause of investigation, it was discovered that Bright Chimezie was a member of IPOB.

He added that investigations showed that Chimezie was the person that took the delivery of the container containing the transmitter for the group on the instructions of Kanu from Lagos to Madubugwu’s compound in Ubuluisiuzo, Ihiala Local Council of Anambra State.

Also, the witness stated that the first defendant before his arrest was the welfare officer of IPOB, who had on several occasions collected money from the group’s sponsors abroad for the welfare of the widows of the slain IPOB members.

However, under cross-examination by the counsel to the first defendant, Chukwudi Igwe, the witness revealed that he had no idea that the defendant made statement at one DSS office in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where he was arrested.

He further stated that he did not visit Uyo for further investigation after his statement at the Headquarters, adding that he did not extend investigation to the Wharf in Lagos.


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