The 114 Biafra women that were remanded in Owerri Prison would undergo pregnancy test, according to investigation by Vanguard yesterday.
Prior to their arraignment at the Magistrate court in Owerri, many feared that some of the women who were tear-gassed and reportedly bullied during their peaceful protest in Owerri by the police before being arrested could be pregnant.
Recall that one of the women arrested for protesting over the whereabouts of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, could not stand the pains at the Magistrate court as she was rushed out of the court environment. She was said to have fainted and bled profusely. The woman is said to be pregnant.
On this development, Vanguard sought to know if the Owerri Prison Authority has any plan to ascertain the actual number of women that are pregnant in the prison.
According to the Public Relations Officer, PRO, Imo State Command of Nigeria Prison Service, DSP James Madugba, "By Friday, everything about their documentation and admission must have been completed. The normal visit will commence on Friday.
"We know that their numbers are much but within this period, we have a medical unit and they will also run a pregnancy test on them. We have to do it because of this rumour of getting impregnated while in prison. If after the pregnancy test and there is anybody pregnant, then the clinic unit will take care of the person."
Remand of pro-Biafra women, judicial rascality--IPOB
Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday condemned what it described as "the ongoing judicial charade, rascallity of the Magistrates Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State which ordered the detention of Igbo women suspected to be pro-Biafra activists, for demanding the whereabouts of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his parents..
IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, said: " The federal and Imo state governments' silence over the arrest of the women confirms their collaboration in the alleged heinous act of incarceration of the innocent and harmless women. This has shown their treacherous nature and ambivalence to the suffering of Biafrans in general and Igbos in particular.
"We equally note with particular concern, the silence of some supposed human rights groups in Nigeria. We are aware that IPOB related cases always showcase the very worst in Nigerian judicial practice. The level of ignorance and disregard for simple rules of a properly constituted court of law presently on show in Imo State lends further credence to our assertion that a significant proportion of Magistrates and Judges are ignorant of the laws of Nigeria and rules governing their conduct.
"By allowing the detention of mothers, wives and sisters that pose no discernible threat to the state, the All Progressives Congress, APC government represented by Rochas Okorocha in Imo, Igbo politicians in Abuja, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Igbo governors and countless other fronts, are showing they are in the pocket of Arewa North.
"They have shown that they are weak, compromised and incapable of speaking out against blatant injustice against their own people."
Drop the charges, CD urges FG, Imo govt
Also yesterday, the Campaign for Democracy, CD, called on the federal and Imo state governments to drop the charges against the 114 women arrested and detained in Owerri, the Imo state capital.
CD in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Dede Uzor A.Uzor said the women were being prosecuted on trumped up charges and therefore should be released with immediate effect.
"We want the charges against those Igbo women branded IPOB women to be dropped without further delay.
"The Campaign for Democracy. CD, wishes to calll on the federal and Imo state governments to with immediate effect drop the charges against the 114 Igbo women arrested for protesting against the disapearance of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his parents at the Owerri Magistrate Court with 10-count charge of treasonable felony and related charges.
"Most of those women are pregnant while others are aged and should be released unconditionally with immediate effect and all the trumped up charges against them withdrawn.
"We condemn in very strong terms, the arrest and arraignment of those women of Igboland. It is part of continuous intimidation, harassment and subjugation of Ndigbo in Nigeria by the APC-led Federal Government.
"The arrest of the women who were peaceful and without arms in exercising their rights should be condemned by every right thinking person and international community."
Igbo group calls for release of IPOB women
In a related develpment, a socio-cultural association operating under the umbrella union of Igbo Bu Igbo, IBI, has joined other civil society organisations to call on the Federal Government to "stop the humiliation of Igbo women, under the guise of crackdown on IPOB," stressing that "the continued detention and humiliation of our women since August 17, 2018, is an affront on Ndigbo."
The position of IBI was made public through a statement signed by Dr. Law Mefor and Chijioke Ndukwe, Chancellor and Publicity Secretary of the group, respectively.
The group wondered why "the police descended so heavily on armless and harmless women, who were exercising their rights to peaceful assembly, tear gassed them and clamped them into detention."
"Further more, we detest the continuing situation where, not only our women, but also all citizens of Igbo extraction, are treated like sub-humans by the Buhari administration as part of his ignoble agenda against the Igbo," the group stated.