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MASSOB wants release of 35 members in prisons


MassobTHE leadership of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to order the release of 35 of its members in Enugu, Awka and Onitsha prisons.

In a statement issued yesterday by its Director of Information, Uchenna Madu, MASSOB said the 35 members, who were arrested from various locations, had been put in prison for alleged treasonable felony.

He stated that they have continued to suffer from court adjournments and transfer of judges handling their cases, alleging that they were hounded for the simple reason of being members of the group.

Given further details about the 35 affected members, he said 22 of them arrested in Awka and Onitsha had been detained since April 2007, while 13 others had been detained in Enugu prisons in the last two years.

He said: “Among the 22 detained members, one is a crippled man while two are females. They have been abandoned in the prison yard to rot away for being MASSOB members. About 15 of them need serious medical attention, including the females and crippled member. Several court adjournments, transfer of judges and systematic delay of their trial have been the calculated method to frustrate their release at Federal High Courts in Enugu and Awka and State High Court, Ogidi.

“The leadership of MASSOB appeals to President Goodluck Jonathan in the spirit of forgiveness, justice, love and reconciliation being experienced among the politicians, gladiators, opponents and enemies in Nigeria to act in favour of Ndigbo over the plight of these members of MASSOB detained in Awka and Onitsha prisons since April 2007 (8 years) and 13 others detained in Enugu Prison since last two years on frivolous charges of treasonable felony before the formal handover to Maj.-Gen Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.”

MASSOB further appealed to President Jonathan to intervene and order their release “because of their aged parents who have been subjected to psychological trauma”, stressing that many of the detainees are bread-winners of their family.

It added that many of their children are no longer in schools while some have had their wives abandoned their homes over their continued incarceration.

The statement further told President Jonathan: “The level of support and loyalty Ndigbo showed to you as our brother and in- law during the last presidential election proved our love for you. Ndigbo will be very grateful and appreciate it if you could release our brothers and sisters as a parting gift.

“MASSOB, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other Igbo socio-political organisations, including the Diaspora Igbo groups, rendered their unflinching support to you during the presidential election. The support of Ndigbo was so laudable that APC is seeing South-East as a conquered zone.

“We demand that you use your presidential power to order the release of these Igbo sons and daughters languishing in prisons for the sake of Igbo cause.”

MASSOB also appealed to Jonathan to grant amnesty to Chukwuemeka Ezeuko (Rev. King) who was condemned to death, stating that Ezeuko was being persecuted because of his tribe.

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