The Police in Abia on Wednesday arrested 51 persons suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, claiming they “operate as members of Judaism,’’ in Umuahia.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the arrest in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Umuahia.
Ogbonna, a Superintendent of Police, said the suspects were arrested for allegedly being in possession of assorted insignia of the outlawed IPOB.
He said that the suspects comprised 41 men and 10 women, adding that they would be arraigned at the end of the investigation.
NAN reports that the suspects held a procession on major streets of Umuahia, carrying placards with different inscriptions written in the Jewish Language.
They were intercepted by a team of anti-riot policemen, who shot several teargas canisters in their attempt to disperse the procession.
The development caused stampede at Isigate Market as traders, shop owners, passers-by and motorists ran in different directions for safety.
The suspects, who were dressed in religious white attires with small caps (yarmulke) similar to those of the Jews, began the procession from Afaraukwu community, where the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, hails from; but were dispersed at Isigate.
One of the members, who identified himself as Israel el-Ibe, told newsmen that the procession was organised to “publicly demonstrate our desire to be allowed to have a Jewish state of our own in Biafra land because we are Jews in Biafra land.”