THE Police in Bayelsa Bayelsa have dragged 12 women from Agobiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state to court over “unlawful assembly and use of juju” to the block the ongoing construction of the state government-sponsored Yenagoa-Oporoma Road.
The women are Madam Nerisa John (43), Chriatiana 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).
In the two-count charge against them before the Magistrate Court, Oporoma Division, the police accused the protesting women of allegedly on November 24 and 30 at Agobiri community in Oporoma magistrate district;
“You did conspire among yourselves to commit felony with unlawful assembly and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 444(d) of the criminal code law, Cap C 14 laws of Bayelsa State, 2006.
“That you (all the accused) and others 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, palm fronds, causing persons in the neighbourhood to fear;
“And tumultuously disturb the peace of the people using access road without reasonable occasion and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 54 and punishable under section 55 of the criminal code law, Cap C14 laws of Bayelsa State.”
They, however, pleaded not guilty and were granted bail at N50,000 each, with one surety who owns a landed property.
The presiding Magistrate, A. N. Asuku, adjourned the case till December 6.
The women, who are indigenes of Agobiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Government council, were reportedly arrested during their protest against alleged exclusion from the communities to benefit from the Oporoma-Yenagoa Road construction project.
They had allegedly threatened to stop the road project if the Governor Douye Diri administration does not include their community as a beneficiary of the road project.