Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Alice Indiamowei, the 70-year-old mother of jailed Abuja bombing convict, Mr. Edmund Ebiware, his wife, Ify and two children, Denzel and Angel on Monday in Yenagoa, Baylesa State, joined a protest to call for the release of their breadwinner.
The protesters led by Mr. Miebi Bribena and a former federal lawmaker, Boulus Indiamowei, argued that it was absurd that Ebiware, accused of being an accessory to the bombing had been sentenced to life, while the verdict on the main culprits was yet to be given.
They maintained that since Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had knocked out the charge of treason against Charles Okah, Ebiware who was earlier convicted for being an accessory to the same charge of treason should be set free.
Justice Kolawole last week dismissed the treason charge against Okah, the alleged mastermind of the bombing that occurred at the Eagle Square on the grounds that the prosecution failed to adduce compelling evidence to support the charge.
Ebiware had earlier been jailed for life in 2013 for allegedly having a prior knowledge of the plan to bomb the Eagle Square and for failing to report same to the president, the governor or the security agencies.
But during the demonstration which saw several youths come out in their hundreds, Bribena, leader of the protest, said Ebiware was sentenced on trumped-up charges and had spent seven years in solitary confinement.
â€œThe charge of treason has been quashed by justice Kolawole. How can you be an accessory to nothing. It means the charge of accessory is null and void.
â€œEbiware as a law-abiding citizen was involved in the process of bringing peace to the Niger Delta through the amnesty programme as a volunteer. The appeal court should reverse the judgment that convicted him,â€ he said.
He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to cause the Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy to take a look at Ebiwareâ€™s case with a view to declaring clemency and unconditional pardon.
He commended the president for creating new conditions which now allows the convictâ€™s family to see him for 30 minutes, noting that before now, Ebiware was confined and was only allowed five minutes with relatives.
Indiamowei, in his comments, said Ebiware was arrested and jailed for reasons other than the Abuja bombing insisting that it was political.
Ify, wife of Ebiware, her two children Angel and Denzel in junior secondary three and Primary Six respectively, and Indiamowei, his mother who cried throughout the protest, called for the speedy release of her son.
â€œHeâ€™s innocent of the crime. I am begging, let them free him. He has passed through a lot there. They hang him upside down for hours. He told me everything when I visited him. He was framed. He doesnâ€™t know anything about bombs,â€ Ebiwareâ€™s mother said.