Written By Dedeigbo Ayodeji
Posted By Admin
Tears of joy flowed freely at the Federal High Court sitting in Awka, the Anambra state capital after the judge discharged and acquitted 19 persons accused of being members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and were held in detention for 15 years.
The 19 businessmen shed tears after listening to Justice Nicholas Oweibo read out his judgement and acquitted them of treason and terrorism charges brought before them by the Federal Government.
While giving his judgement on Friday, the trial judge said the prosecutors failed to establish proof for treason and terrorism charges levelled against the nineteen accused persons.
One of those released, Casmir Odorka, pictured above, expressed gratitude to God for eventually setting him free after 15 years of being held in detention for a crime he never committed.
According to Odorka, I give God all the glory for my life. Over fifteen n years in prison but today, I am free at last.
One of the acquitted persons who couldn’t contain his joy after regaining his freedom fifteen years after his arrest said: “I am a businessman. I have two stores and I left them unlocked. They picked me up and took me to the police station.
“I told my neighbors that I would be coming back in the next one hour. This is the next one hour. 15 years. I left my shop unlocked.
“I did not know anything. Today I regained my freedom to God be the glory. None of us died. I give God the glory for this victory”, he added.
Counsel to the acquitted persons, Okoli Akirika, said: “The judge came to the conclusion that there was no iota or scintilla of evidence adduced by the prosecution against the defendants.
“It took more than fourteen years to come to this conclusion and this brings to fore one of the defects in our criminal justice system. This is a case in which people wasted their youthful years.”
MASSOB is a secessionist group demanding the creation of Biafra.