The Police in Bayelsa on Wednesday, December 1, arraigned 12 women from the Agobiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) before a Magistrates Court for allegedly using charms to disrupt an ongoing road project.
The women were arraigned over their alleged involvement in an unlawful assembly; and the use of ‘diabolic’ means to block the ongoing construction of the Yenagoa-Oporoma Road; that is intended to link Oporoma, headquarters of Southern Ijaw LGA in Bayelsa.
Court records listed the accused as Madam Nerisa John (43); Christiana Famous (36); Dolphina Ochai (34); Flora Clinton (55); Ayibanua Lucky (33); and Motoko Oyibadoemi (54).
Others are Amilo Brandy (30); Tuebi Romeo (25); Ayibaegben Godbless (40); Becky Williams (37); Ayababy Kwoli (50); and Falaba David (30).
The police filed a two-count charge against the accused before the Magistrate Courts, Oporoma.
The Bayelsa police alleged that between Nov. 24 till Nov. 30 at Agobiri community in Oporoma, the accused conspired among themselves to commit felony viz, unlawful assembly, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 444(d) of the Criminal Code, Cap C 14 Laws of Bayelsa State, 2006.’
“That you (all the accused) and others still at large on the same date and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District with intent to carry out a common purpose, did assemble in such a manner by blocking the ongoing Oporoma-Yenagoa road construction with sticks, plantain, juju, and palm fronds.”
The women, however, pleaded not guilty and each of them was granted bail in the sum of N50,000 and a surety who owned a landed property.
The Presiding Magistrate, A.N Asuku, adjourned the case till Dec. 6 for continuation.
The women, who are all indigenes of Agobiri community were arrested during their protest against the alleged exclusion of their community from the list of communities that would benefit from the Oporoma-Yenagoa Road construction project.
They were alleged to have threatened to stop the road project if the administration of Gov. Douye Diri did not include their community as a beneficiary of the road project.