Awka - No fewer than 200 youths from Ezinano community in Awka on Tuesday stormed an Awka Magistrates' Court, protesting the detention and arraignment of four of their members over a land dispute.
The suspects were Anayo Chinwuba, 35; Daniel Udeke, 39; Ifeme Keluo, 27 and Arinze Udekwe, 22.
Addressing the crowd, the Chairman of Ezinano Development Forum, Obi Ochijie, alleged that a traditional ruler in the town orchestrated the arrest of the persons over a disputed land at Rockland Estate, Awka.
Ochijie said that the men were members of the task force of the community, who were on their routine job of collecting development levies from developers at the estate.
He described the arrest as “illegal”, insisting that the accused persons were innocent.
Meanwhile, the accused persons were on Tuesday arraigned on a seven-charge ranging from demand for illegal fees, stealing and assault on one Obiora Dibor on December 9, 2013.
The prosecutor, Henry Orji, told the court presided over by Loretta Okoye that the assault on Dibor was punishable under Section 252 of the Criminal Code Cap 26, Vol. II Revised laws of Anambra.
Orji also said that the accused persons allegedly stole gold necklace valued at N18 000, Ipad phone valued at N120 000 and a wrist watch valued at N32 000.
The accused persons who pleaded not guilty to the charges, were however, granted bail in the sum of N100 000 each with two sureties in like sum.
While adjourning the matter till March 5, for hearing, the presiding magistrate called on the parties involved to maintain peace and not take laws into their hands.