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MASSOB flays cleric, 87-year-old man’s arrest over pro-Biafran agitations

The leadership of Biafra Independence Movement and Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra has alleged that Anambra State Police Command arrested and detained a Catholic priest, Rev Fr Samuel Aniebonem, and five other persons on suspicion that they belong to BIM-MASSOB.

This was disclosed to journalists in a press statement on Friday, by BIM-MASSOB’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mazi Chris Mocha.

 Mocha said Rev Fr Aniebonem, who hailed from Ifitedunu community in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State and an in-law to one of the arrested members of MASSOB, had gone to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Awkuzu, on Wednesday, to know what led to the arrest of his in-law, an 87-year-old Sylvester Dinyelu.

 Dinyelu was arrested together with some persons when police operatives from the state CID allegedly raided the office of BIM-MASSOB on Wednesday.

 The statement read, “The cleric was arrested at the police station and detained on suspicion that he might be a member of BIM-MASSOB.

 “His driver, Mr Udebunu Anachuna, who drove him to the station, was equally arrested alongside Mr Christian Ifeji, Johnson Anagor and Mr Kanayo Madu.

 “In Onitsha, Mr Mathew Ani was also arrested on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, on allegation of belonging to the Indigenous People of Biafra, which he had earlier denied. He said he was not a member of IPOB but that he belonged to Ralph Uwazuruike’s BIM-MASSOB.

 “Ani is currently being detained at the Area Command’s cell in Onitsha just as we have engaged the services of our lawyer to ensure the early release of the men, including that of an 87-year-old man.”

 When contacted on the development, the Anambra state police spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the arrest of the men, adding that the case was under investigation.

 Ikenga said, “Our operatives working on reliable information raided their office along Oyeagu Ifitedunu road on 25/09/2023 and a lot of incriminating items and unpatriotic materials that showed disloyalty to the Federal Republic of Nigeria were found. Meanwhile, the case is still under investigation, please.”