A magistrate’s court in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, yesterday granted bail to five members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the tune of N200,000 each with a guarantor.
The IPOB members are however to be remanded in prison custody on the order of the court until the bail conditions were met. The five IPOB members were arraigned on a two count charge bordering on unlawful association and criminal conspiracy with Niger Delta Avengers.
They were arrested last year in Arongwa in Osisioma Local Government Area of the state by the Department of State Services (DSS) on their way from Abuja where they had gone to visit their leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu at Kuje prison, Abuja.
Lawyer to the DSS, who sought and got the protection of the court for his name not to be mentioned in the media, told the court that the Department of State Services got intelligence over the move initiated by the IPOB members that led to their arrest and the various text messages found in their phones were also tendered in court.
However, the defence counsel argued that the IPOB members have the right of association as provided for in the 1999 constitution, saying that they were also at liberty to visit anybody anywhere without any legal restriction. He therefore urged the court to grant them bail. Ruling on the matter, the magistrate granted them bail to the tune of N200,000