18 December 2018

Nigeria: Police Arraign 51 Judaism Adherents for Alleged Terrorism, Felony in Abia

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(file photo)

Umuahia — The 51 Judaism adherents comprising 10 females and 41 males arrested in Umuahia Abia State capital during their peaceful march to demand for a Jewish nation have been arraigned by the Police before an Umuahia Magistrate's Court.

They were charged with treasonable felony and terrorism act and they pleaded not guilty to.

Chief Magistrate Idika Kalu however ordered that they be remanded in prison custody because his court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter and also directed that the case file be sent to the Ministry of Justice for assignment to the appropriate court with the jurisdiction.

Counsel to the suspects, Mr. Anthony Nwafor, told the court that it was illegal and unconstitutional for the suspects to be arraigned by the prosecution at the Magistrate's Court that lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter.

"There is nothing like holding charge. Magistrate's court should not entertain the matter, you cannot come to a court with a charge the court cannot try," he stated, citing several related authorities and Supreme Court decisions on similar matters.

The matter was adjourned to January 24, 2019 for the report on compliance.

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