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Thursday, 10 March 2016

INTERVIEW: THE JUSTICE OF ECOWAS COURT HAS NEVER FAILED---EFOBI IFEANYI ANTHONY

INTERVIEW: THE JUSTICE OF ECOWAS COURT HAS NEVER FAILED---EFOBI IFEANYI ANTHONY

By Ifeanyi Chijioke
For Family Writers

In this interview Ifeanyi Efobi gives more insight on the legal action instituted by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra against the federal government of Nigeria.  He explained in details to Ifeanyi Chijioke of FAMILY WRITERS the function of ECOWAS court and what should be expected of the court. Answering questions from Ifeanyi Chijioke, he reaffirmed his trust in the ECOWAS court and explained why ECOWAS must be trusted to do justice to what he described as abuse of legal order by Nigerian government. The bigotry and hatred of Buhari’s led federal government is consuming common sense and severing justice. He bared his mind on how Nigerian government may respond to this wise move by the defense counsel.

WHAT ARE THE FUNCTIONS OF ECOWAS AND WHY DID THE DEFENSE COUNSEL TAKE THE MATTER TO ECOWAS?

“Community Court of Justice in ECOWAS, seven wise men are the Judges of the court. Impeccable Right Hon. Justice Maria Do Ceu Silver Monteiro is the Hon. President of the Community Court of Justice. ECOWAS has Advisory Jurisdiction and Contentious Jurisdiction. Under Advisory, they can give their advisory opinion on every issue that requires interpretation of the community text. Under Contentious Jurisdiction, the Court examines cases of failure by Member States to honour their obligations under the community law; the Court has competence to adjudicate on any dispute relating to the interpretation and application of acts of the community; the Court adjudicates in disputes between institutions of the Community and their officials; the Court has power to handle cases dealing with liability for or against the community; the court has jurisdiction to determine cases of violation of human rights that occur in any member state; the Court adjudges and makes declarations on the legality of regulations, Directives, Decisions and other subsidiary legal institutions adopted by ECOWAS.

Nigeria like other ECOWAS countries is a community of member state that is answerable to ECOWAS on legal matters and act. Act and text of Nigeria fall within the jurisdiction of ECOWAS to entertain and adjudicate and decide. The issue boils down to the legality of Nigerian action relating to Nnamdi Kanu’s case, not Nnamdi Kanu per say but the People of Biafra.  So things that happen in Nigeria can be entertained by ECOWAS court, especially when it is connecting to fundamental human right-disputes between institutions of the community and officials, everybody and institutions fall within the jurisdiction of ECOWAS” Worried by the continuous disobedience or contempt to court orders in Nigeria by Buhari; Ifeanyi Chijiok of FAMILY WRITERS posited that Buhari might obstinately go ahead to flouting orders of ECOWAS court like he did to Nigerian courts. However, when questioned on the tendencies and implication of flouting orders of the ECOWAS court, he responded.

“If he can, he can flout it but cannot rightly or legally flout it. A dictator will always be a dictator even when you are holding him on the neck. He is a dictator and more likely to flout it, when he flout it, he is flouting it illegally, unconstitutional, unlawfully, not even according the resolution of ECOWAS. It is mostly against Nigerian constitution, this community court of justice in ECOWAS, they have contentious jurisdiction to entertain Kanu’s case. When any member of the ECOWA country feels his fundamental right has been infringed upon, the person can rightly institute a legal action in community court of justice in ECOWAS. The three wise men there most of the time have not failed; they have been living up to expectation. The justice of ECOWAS has not failed and I can vouch they will do justice to the case”
Buhari have shown readiness to contravening everything in a clear effort to take another pond of flesh on Biafrans as he did in 1967. He sees any move to stopping him as attack on his person. Meanwhile, ECOWAS court might likely summon defendant in due time. When asked if ECOWAS can issue warrant of arrest if Buhari refuses to be summoned or adhere to orders of the court. He replied.

“ There are so many things they can do, in as much as they will respect Nigerian sovereignty. They will sanction Nigeria, they will give them an order of execution, they will go an extra mile of sending a member state delegate to talk to the presidency. But one of the things they will do is Isolation. They can isolate or dismember Nigeria, they have enough means to make them conform. They cannot arrest the President of Nigeria but they can after the tenure of the President bring him to book, try him and do justice”
  In Nigeria, the government tend to say or behave like they are superior to UN 2007 Charter, African charter and other declarations which they are signatory to. They have said peaceful agitation for freedom is crime in Nigeria, and held strongly that freedom or move for statehood is not accepted in Nigeria. The government is mass-murdering peaceful protesters and neither the senate or the presidency have demanded for a probe as Biafrans are being seen and treated like criminals and shot at sight. Now in ECOWAS, what should Biafrans be expecting there?

“This is where the advisory jurisdiction of ECOWAS come into question, ECOWAS can give legal advisory opinion on any matter that requires interpretation of the community act. If they think there is a matter that requires interpretation of any member state community text, act and deed. Now a situation like this, ECOWAS can rightly adjudicate on issue bed-deviling on right of self-determination, the legality of people’s decision to be on their own. The obligation of any group, tribe to wish and determine they want to be free, if it is being presented before community court of justice. And the presentation before them is that Biafra have decided to be on their own, the people wishing to be on their own, what can the government of the parent country do? One of the things they cannot do is to term it illegality, or unlawful union or association and illegal people. Today, I was rightly informed that Victor Umeh was arrested by DSS which was projected by the office of the presidency, under the accusation that he is sponsoring IPOB which is absurd, Victor Umeh cannot sponsor a Nation. Now, this is the area Nigerian government is getting it wrong again, they cannot rightly or lawfully be accusing people or demonizing the association that wanted to be on their own just because their wish is not what the government want. They cannot rightly be arresting, detaining and violating the rights of people because they want to be in a separate country or be Biafrans. If I wish to be on my own, somebody cannot come and say it is unlawful to be IPOB. The constitution did not permit Buhari, DSS, soldiers etc to be tagging IPOB and MASSOB etc illegal. This is now what the community court of justice in ECOWAS can determine and fault and ruin Nigeria in so tagging because they cannot say IPOB or MASSOB is unlawful. Nnamdi Kanu should not have been arrested and taken to the court in the first place for being the leader of peaceful and lawful people that wanted to be on their own. Buhari should be arresting people carrying arms against Nigerian state, killing and maiming, rioting and destroying things.

The constitution did not allow Nigeria to arrest peaceful protesters simply because they want what you do not want that is within the confines of law. Let me say this clearly, it is appearing that APC led Nigeria is picking some people up and taking them to a stage-manned court, refusing them bail, torturing them and all kinds of degrading treatment and all these people are coming from south south and southeast Biafra entity, Ijaw, Igbo, Uhrobo etc. If they did not tag it corruption or being a Biafran, they will tag it abuse of President. These are all the things we are calling the community court of justice in ECOWAS to determine and they should make a declaration that it is internationally allowed to demand for self-governance” Having prayed ECOWAS to interpret and declare, knowing we are dealing with a dictator that will likely choose to take lives than obey orders. It is therefore pertinent to know, can the order of ECOWAS court supersede that of Nigerian court? “It can, the way it can is a state is always under a state region, especially when the state is signatory to that state community. ECOWAS is a kind of community that Nigeria subjected her constitution to, her constitution put under the act of ECOWAS community. So, anything that comes out of the community court of justice handed down by the seven wise men, all the courts in Nigeria even Supreme Court is bound to follow it. ECOWAS have more force than Nigeria itself, in as much as that sovereign entity is being respected Nigeria have surrendered her sovereignty when they are a member of ECOWAS”.

Ifeanyi Efobi Anthony as a professor of law at Greenwich University tends to be so passionate about the boldness and achievement of the defense counsel to Nnamdi Kanu. He however, answered when he was asked what is his advice to the defense counsel? “ i will be asking them to be seeking the matter of interpretation of the Nigerian actions concerning their perception of the wish of Indigenous people of Biafra or her leader to self-determination. The advisory jurisdiction of ECOWAS should be called upon to make an interpretation of the right that Biafra have got to ask for Biafran entity and be considered by Nigeria to be legally asked and be seen to be asking legally and constitutionally. If Nigeria is deceiving themselves by forcing themselves to be knowingly tagging IPOB as illegal or unlawful, that is where the advisory jurisdiction of the ECOWAS court should be called upon to interpret that this people can rightly be doing this without being tagged unlawful or the leader of IPOB be compensated for illegal treatment”
  
FINALLY, WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO BIAFRANS?

“My message to Biafrans is to be resolute, to be steadfast and not to give up. Nigeria is a failed state that cannot get their act together. Is not all about taxing, what is that that have not been done to make Nigeria a better state and yet all those things failed. They do everything unlawful and corrupt and failure is their destination. Let me tell you the fact, if there is no Biafra, Nigeria cannot be better. The only thing that can better Nigeria is for Biafra to be. For Biafra to be my advice to us is for us to keep believing, keep working hard, keep contributing keep dreaming and keep trusting our God”

3 comments

  1. When trained and seasoned lawyers talk, d message is crystal clear but when cattle rearers like justice tsosho talks, he confuses and contradicts himself d more! All hail biafra

    ReplyDelete
  2. When trained and seasoned lawyers talk, d message is crystal clear but when cattle rearers like justice tsosho talks, he confuses and contradicts himself d more! All hail biafra

    ReplyDelete
  3. If buhari failed to appear before the Ecowas court , do you think that all this sanctions he mentioned here will have any negative effect to Nigerian nation . I suggest to the seven wise men to come out with a stronger sanctions or plague . In Biafra we stand .

    ReplyDelete

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