AN Appeal Court of Assizes in Palermo City, Italy has declared that the Neo Black Movement of Africa (NBM) is not a mafia group and acquitted three of its members Ken Osayande, Festus Pedro Erhonmosele and Osahenagharu Uwagboe of being members of a mafia group.
The trio were arrested on allegation that the NBM of Africa which they belong to in Italy is the same organisation as Black Axe organisation which is suspected to have same structure and operational style of a Mafia group otherwise called Cosa Nostra.
Speaking to journalists on the development in Benin City on Thursday, NBM Spokesman Oluwatosin Dixon said “On 8th day of November,2019, the trial lower Court of Assizes in Palermo City in Italy, dismissed the charges of membership of mafia group, criminal conspiracy to commit extortion amongst other charges and acquitted them as there were no proof that the Pan African Socio- Cultural organisation called NBM of Africa is same as Black Axe.
“The prosecutor was dissatisfied with the judgment hence filed and commenced appeal about 17th day of December, 2020 at the Assizes Court of Appeal in Palermo City in Italy.
“The Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Angelo Pellino unanimously acquitted the accused members of NBM of Africa on grounds that there was nothing linking them to any mafia group or Black Axe.The Appeal Court further ruled that NBM is not a mafia group.”
He said the three members of the association were represented by some of the best Defence Attorneys in Italy namely Giovanni Rizzuti, Anastasia Righetti,Cinzia Pecorino,and Rocco Chinnici.
Dixon reiterated that the judgment has vindicated NBM of Africa that he said was maliciously defamed by a recent BBC documentary.
He stated further that the organisation would continue to promote African culture, peace, equity and Social Justice amongst all human race in accordance with its fundamental principles and objectives as a pan African socio-cultural organisation.