Terrorism: I’m not aware of any law prohibiting association with IPOB-Eze Ndi Igbo

The Eze Ndigbo of Ajao Estate, Lagos, Frederick Nwajagu, charged with terrorism on Monday said he did not know there was a law prohibiting a person from mentioning the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Nigeria.

Nwajagu said this while giving evidence before a Lagos High Court at Tafawa Balewa Square.

Nwajagu is standing trial on a nine-count bordering on an attempt to commit acts of terrorism, financing terrorism, participating in terrorism and meeting to support a proscribed entity.

On the resumed hearing on Monday, the defendant was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Emefo Etudo.Ezoic

The defendant told the court that he had never referred to himself as a king,but a leader to the Igbo-speaking people in Ajao Estate.

He said the video shown to the court where he was talking was not the original video but an edited one.

Nwajagu noted that what he said in his house was an empty threat made to calm the Igbo down.Ezoic

“After the 2023 elections, some people came to my house. I gave them drinks and I made the statement believing that there is freedom of speech and association in Nigeria.I have no connection with IPOB,” he said.Ezoic

The defendant was cross examined by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dr Babajide Martins.

The defendant told the court that when he was interrogated at the Department of Security Service (DSS) office, he informed the DSS that he had no relationship with IPOB.

Nwajagu repeated that he was not the person that recorded the video.

“I made the statement that went viral because of the Igbo people whose shops were looted and burnt including what MC Oluomo said against the Igbos in Lagos.

“I made a second video while at Panti Police station denouncing the first video.

“I regret making the first speech because I didn’t know there is a law prohibiting people from mentioning IPOB.”

After the cross examination, his counsel urged the court to release the defendant on bail.Ezoic

He said the prosecution had closed its case and the nature of the prosecution’s evidence should not counter the bail application.

The prosecution, however, urged the court to reject the bail application.

After all the arguments on bail application, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, adjourned until March 26, for ruling on bail application.

Adesanya also told the parties to file all their written addresses since the defendant had already closed its case.

She also gave April 16, for adoption of final written addresses.

The defendant had on July 25, 2023, applied for bail, citing his medical reports, adding that he was not a flight risk.

On July 28, 2023, the court had refused the bail application, based on the seriousness of the offence and the severity of its punishment.

The Lagos State Government had in a suit marked no: LD/21505C/2023, alleged that the defendant’s acts contravened the provisions of Section 403(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.Ezoic

The state stated that the offences also contravened Sections 12(a) (c), 18, 21 and 29   of the Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, 2022.

NAN reports that Nwajagu was arrested by operatives of the DSS over an alleged threat to invite members IPOB to Lagos to secure properties of Igbo people in the state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *