The police in Bayelsa State on Wednesday arraigned 12 women from Agobiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state before a Magistrates Court for allegedly using charms to disrupt an ongoing road project.
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 Governor Douye Diri did not include their community as a beneficiary of the road project.
The police accused the women of 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.
Court records listed the accused as 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 alleged that between November 24 and November 30 at Agobiri community in Oporoma, the accused conspired among themselves to commit felony – 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 police prosecutor said.
The women pleaded not guilty and each of them granted bail in the sum of N50,000 and a surety who owns a landed property.
The Magistrate, A.N Asuku, adjourned the case to December 6 for continuation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the 28km road, with several bridges, is being handled by China’s construction giant, CCECC.
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