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Police dock 12 Bayelsa women for blocking road construction with charms

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The women were protesting the exclusion of their community from an ongoing construction.

Twelve women have been arraigned by the police in Bayelsa for allegedly frustrating an ongoing road construction with diabolical powers.

The women from Agobiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa were brought before a Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The police charged them with 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.

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 filed a two-count charge against them accused before the Magistrate Courts, Oporoma.

The police alleged that between November 24 till November 30 at Agobiri community, 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,” their charge read.

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 December 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 Governor Douye Diri did not include their community as a beneficiary of the road project.

The 28km road, with several bridges, is being handled by China’s construction giant, CCECC.

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