Monday, 29 June 2015 10:39

Protesters shutdown Anambra over alleged plan to move Boko Haram detainees to the state’s prison

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anambra-protestersThe commercial city of Anambra State was Saturday literarily shutdown by protesters following the report that the Federal Government was planning to transfer Boko Haram detainees to prisons in the state.

Traders in the state as early as 9am shut their shops in major cities of Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi, Ekwulobia and Agulu, to kick against the purported plan.

It was gathered that at Tarzan junction, Nkpor in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state, traders and other residents blocked the Enugu – Onitsha Expressway chanting songs suggesting that they would be forced to revive the clamour for Biafran Republic if pushed to the wall.

The traders carried placards bearing inscriptions like ‘Buhari should not destroy the peace in Anambra State,’ ‘Biafra kanyi choro’ (We want Biafra), ‘Buhari, Igbos cannot accept your prisoners, ‘We do not want Boko Haram in Anambra,’ ‘Federal Government, why extend Boko Haram to Anambra?’ and ‘Boko Haram prisoners are not allowed here.’

Speaking with newsmen during the protests, the Secretary-General, Anambra State Amalgamated Traders Association, Chief Chuma Elucharu, stated that traders in the state decided to shut markets to protest the rumoured relocation of Boko Haram detainees to the state.

Also in Onitsha, the protesters threatened to go violent should the rumour be proved to be true.

There was tension as police used tear gas to disperse the protesters.

While addressing the traders, the President-General of AMATAAS, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, urged them to be calm, saying that further consultation would be made by the association to get clear picture of the situation.

Also, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Uche Eze, said there was no need to panic, nothing that the police were handling the situation.

However, the Nigeria Prisons Service has said there is no plan to transfer Boko Haram suspects in custody to prisons in Anambra State as being speculated.

Speaking through its Public Relations Officer, Francis Enebore, the NPS said most of the terror suspects in prison custody were still awaiting trial and cannot be moved out of the jurisdiction of the court where they would be prosecuted.

Enebore said, “Most of the terror suspects are awaiting trial and so, there is no way they can be moved to another state because they must be tried in the state where they committed the crime.

“Apart from this, our duty is to move them from prison to court for trial and since they have not been convicted, how can we transfer them to other states outside the jurisdiction of the court where they would be tried? People are just saying things they know nothing about, there is no truth to the rumours that we are transferring terror suspects to other states”.

-Daily Post

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