…75yr-old, 14 others arraigned for failure to vacate Shops

Following the ongoing crisis rocking the Abakaliki main market, police as gathered embarked on a fresh arrest at early hours of Wednesday, September 10, The Voice gathered.

It was learnt that over twenty more people were arrested and released following court other to release them.
One of the traders who spoke to The Voice and pleaded anonymity, said policemen invaded the houses of their fellow traders at about 2am on Wednesday and were arresting them one after the other.

He said as if that wasn’t enough, on that same morning when traders had gone to market; the policemen invaded the market and arrested more traders.

He said they had to contact their lawyer who presented the matter and court ordered the police to release those arrested that day.

Meanwhile, a 75year-old man and 14 other traders were arraigned before Abakaliki Magistrates court for their refusal to vacate the shops at Abarkpa Main Market after its ownership was revoked by the State Government.

The traders identified as Nwike Titus, 49, Nweze Fidelis, 75, Eze Nwanta, 71, Agwadom Ignatus, 72, Akannu Sabastina, 68, Emeka Uba, 63, Simon Ominyi, 37, Dandy Eselu, 55, Pius Omewa, 68, Silas Oka, 54, David Nwoke, 52, Patrick Eze, 59, Alex Oragudozi, 53, Christopher Ejim, 6, and Christopher Nnadiekwe, 60, were arraigned on Thursday, 11 September 2019.

The accused persons are facing two count charges in suit no MAB/ 653C/2019, filed by the commissioner of police. The traders were alleged to have also conducted themselves in a way likely to cause breach of peace and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516 A (a) of the criminal; code cap 33, Vol.1 laws of Ebonyi state of Nigeria 2019.

Count II reads; “That you Nweke Titus, Nweze Fidelis, Eze Nwanta, Agwaom Ignaitus, Akannu Sabastin, Emeka Uba, Simon Ominyi, Dandy Eselu, Pius Omewa, David Nwoke, Patrick Eze, Alex Oragudozi, Christopher Ejim, Christopher Nwadiekwe and others at large, on the same date, place in the aforesaid Magisterial district did conduct yourselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by refusing to vacate the shops at Abarkpa Main Market, which the Government has revoked the right of occupancy which amounts to violation or contravention of section 15 of Ebonyi State Miscellaneous Offence Law No.010 and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 249 (d) of the Criminal code, Cap 33, Vol. 1 laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2019.”

Also among the traders arraigned, one Patrick Eze was charged for assaulting SA to the governor, Mark Onu by pushing him, an offence that contravenes the law of the State.
Presiding over the issue, Magistrate G.U Omiko granted the accused persons bail with the sum of 100,000 naira in the like sum, submission of two pass ports photograph, affidavit, surety, while adjourned the case to October 11, 2019.

However, The Voice gathered that, the arraigned traders were those alleged to have taken the State government to court over the revocation of their shops at Abarkpa market.

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