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Friday, 23 September 2016

FREE NNAMDI KANU: IPOB IVORY COAST PRESS STATEMENT - DEMOCRACY, RIGHT TO SELF DETERMINATION AND RULE OF LAW

FREE NNAMDI KANU:  IPOB IVORY COAST PRESS STATEMENT - DEMOCRACY, RIGHT TO SELF DETERMINATION AND RULE OF LAW--- FOR THE SAKE OF NNAMDI KANU


When a court of competent jurisdiction sitting on December 17, 2015, in Abuja Nigeria's capital, granted Mazi Nnamdi Kanu(the Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Director of Radio Biafra and Biafra Television) an "unconditional release", the euphoria across Biafra Land and beyond was so intense that thousands of Biafrans couldn't resist the urge of flooding the streets in celebration of the court injunction; despite the "kill at sight" order that has been given to the Nigerian Military and Police to clamp down on any Biafran activist they see on the streets bearing the Biafran colours or embarking on any form of protest. Hon. Justice Adeniyi Ademola just like Justice Shuaibu Usman  did previously at the Magistrate Court, inarguably distanced himself from the decay in the Nigerian judiciary by upholding justice- the federal government has no case against Nnamdi Kanu.

The celebrations that followed Justice Ademola's verdict would later result to the gruesome killing of not less than 22 Biafran activists by the Nigerian military at Onitsha Anambra state while scores of others sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries. However, as surprising and disheartening as it turned out to be, the Nigerian government has already sworn never to release Nnamdi Kanu, even if it means scuttling constitutional provisions of the country and disregarding for the fourth time, a court injunction ordering for the release of Nnamdi Kanu.

Nnamdi Kanu has since October 2015 been turned into an object with which President Buhari and his cohorts experiments their modern day dictatorial tendencies.
 While on his way to Biafra Land from his base in the United Kingdom, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was abducted by the Nigerian Department of State Security, DSS otherwise known as SSS, on Wednesday October 14, 2015. The Nigerian DSS kept Nnamdi Kanu's abduction a secret for four days(contravening Section 35{1} of the Nigerian constitution which states that any person arrested shall not be detained beyond 24hours, or 48hours in situations where a court of competent jurisdiction is located farther than forty kilometre radius away from the place of arrest or detention).


The DSS quickly arraigned Nnamdi Kanu at a Magistrate Court on Monday October 19, on charges of belonging to an unlawfully society, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation; a face-saving move which came immediately IPOB exposed that Nnamdi Kanu is in their custody on Sunday October 18, with the revelation rapidly going viral across various local and international media outlets.

Subsequent unconfirmed sources revealed that the Nigerian government had planned to get rid of Nnamdi Kanu had the uncertainty that surrounded his whereabouts continued, as it would have given room for them to deny ever arresting or coming in contact with him. However, thanks to IPOB sophisticated monitoring and follow up of Nnamdi Kanu's travel route all the way from UK.

Meanwhile, the Magistrate Court sitting in Wuse II, Abuja and presided over by Hon. Justice Shuaibu Usman, having heard the charges leveled against Nnamdi Kanu, granted him bail with some stringent conditions which were incontrovertibly met by Nnamdi Kanu through his Lawyers within 24hours. The Nigerian DSS however, blatantly refused to release Nnamdi Kanu after meeting his bail conditions; a tyrannical disposition which prompted Kanu's Lawyer, Barrister Vincent Egechukwu Obetta(now replaced with Hon. Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor Esq.) to file a suit on October 23, praying the court to place an order on the DSS to produce his client from their custody; an order which was granted by the presiding Judge. The Production Order was despotically rebuffed and rejected by the DSS after it was made available to them by court bailiff jointly with the Police Orderly detailed by the court.

The Lawyer to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has this to say in subsequent Press statement:

"The Production Order was communicated to the SSS by the court bailiff and the Police Orderly attached to the court immediately on the same 23rd October 2015. Regrettably the court bailiff together with the Police Orderly detailed by the court was sent back by the SSS and the Order was fragrantly disobeyed with impunity.
"As it stands, our client has fulfilled his bail condition set by the court whereat he was charged with the aforementioned criminal offences.
"The continued and unlawful incarceration of our client by the SSS defies all known democratic and constitutional provisions of the law, standards and rules set to safeguard the fundamental rights of citizens.

"The SSS has no legal basis for the continued incarceration of our client whose health is severely deteriorating under the harsh and inhumane conditions that he is been held.
"FOR EMPHASIS: it should be noted that within the interval of eight days we have applied and gotten three Orders of Court against the SSS compelling them to release, produce or transfer our client to the prisons. It is heartrending to say that despite all the Court Orders emanating from a court of competent jurisdiction, the Department of State Security Service have willfully refused to obey these order(s)." he concluded.

Meanwhile, on December 16 same year, the DSS withdrew all charges they leveled against Nnamdi Kanu and asked the court to discontinue with the case, as they have obtained permission from a higher court to detain Nnamdi Kanu for further 90days for investigation and interrogation on his alleged involvement in 'terrorism and terrorism financing'. Justice Shuaibu afterwards discharged and acquitted Nnamdi Kanu, and struck out the case.

However on the next day December 17, the Federal High Court having heard the bail application filed by Nnamdi Kanu's Lawyer, revoked its earlier controversial Order to the DSS to detain Nnamdi Kanu for 90days. The court ordered for the 'unconditional release' of Nnamdi Kanu having stated that his detention by the DSS is completely unlawful.
For the fourth time, the Nigerian DSS on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari once again flouted an injunction from a court of competent jurisdiction and refused to have Nnamdi Kanu freed from their claws of incarceration. Instead, the federal government through DSS on December 22, went back to the same court they refused to obey its order and germinated another spurious charge of 'treasonable felony' against Nnamdi Kanu.

As the scouting for a Judge that will do their bidding continued, President Buhari, who could not suppress his disdain towards Nnamdi Kanu during his infamous media chat on December 29, demystified the already concluded plans of his despotic Nigerian government never to release Nnamdi Kanu from their dungeon despite previous court injunctions.


"If you see the atrocities these people committed against this country, we can't allow them to jump bail,
"The one you are calling Kanu, he has two passports, he brought in equipment. Do you know Kanu brought in sophisticated equipment into the country? There is treasonable felony case against him." President Buhari told the journalists interviewing him.

To President Buhari, possessing two international passports or being a dual citizen which is guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution, and operating a Radio station which is duely registered in London- is "treasonable felony". The disposition of the former military Dictator, in which he tends to justify the tyrannical refusal of his government to release Nnamdi Kanu and the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, painted a sickening dark spot on his administration; even as it sparked outrage across the international community whose consciousness were reawakened on the fact that President Buhari is just an old wine in a new skin when it comes to the tyrannical tendencies which he possessed during his days as a military dictator.

Amnesty International while commenting on Nnamdi Kanu's travail, stated that disobedience to court orders that had granted Kanu bail and an unconditional release simple shows that rule of law is being suffocated in Nigeria. "We have seen in several cases the practice of the DSS of arresting someone, holding them unlawfully, and when that person challenges their detention with bail, they are immediately charged with something else to prolong their detention. That's unlawful detention,

"There are a number of people who have been detained in connection to Boko Haram who had a similar thing happened. The question is: To what extend is the rule of law respected? By looking at the examples of Kanu and other cases it seems that it is not being respected." Lucy Freeman, a Senior Researcher at the NGO told International Business Times in United Kingdom.

In addition, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Mr. Kenneth Roth stated thus:

"Nigeria President Buhari should not be signaling that his government will ignore court orders."
In protest against his illegal detention on December 23, 2015 , Mazi Nnamdi protested before a High Court Judge, prompting Justice A.R Mohammed to step down from handling the case:

"The information i got is that i will not receive a fair trial before this court.

"I will not sacrifice the due process of law because of the speedy court process over the principle of natural process on the alter of speedy release. In other words, i will rather remain in detention than subject myself to a trial that i know amounts to perversion of justice.
"Your Lordship, previous court rulings by courts of competent jurisdiction have been given in this country, Nigeria which were not carried out by the DSS." Kanu said.

The trial of Nnamdi is yet to commence, even as it is approaching a year since he was abducted and has been incarcerated by President Buhari's henchmen, DSS.
The Nigerian government has no veritable evidence to try Nnamdi Kanu for treasonable felony; hence they have resorted to trying him secretly, otherwise known as 'masquerade trial'. The incumbent Judge handling the case, Hon. Justice John Tsoho is already being accused of being under the influence of the federal government, hence compromising justice in favour of the fg; which was best exemplified in his March 7 surprise ruling in favour of a secret trial for Nnamdi Kanu, despite previously ruling against such on February 19 2016.

A human rights organisation in Nigeria, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, INTERSOCIETY, has since named Nnamdi Kanu a Prisoner of Conscience (POC), stating that his unlawful detention and trial is politically motivated. Several other notable local and international NGOs have followed suit as the campaign to rescue Nnamdi Kanu from a state sponsored tyranny have been transformed to a global phenomenon.

Several Italian, American and UK based NGOs and media outlets among others have in recent times joined in campaigning for Kanu's release.
The Indigenous People of Biafra on their own part have not stopped flooding the whole world in protests calling for Nnamdi Kanu's unconditional release as ordered by the court. Protests are continuously being taken to UN and EU headquarters, USA White House, UK Parliament, Vatican City and random protests and rallies across the world.

Protests in Nigeria are in most times continuously met with stiff response from Nigerian security agencies as hundreds are being abducted and extrajudicially killed while thousands are languishing various prisons without trial.

Nnamdi Kanu and other Biafran activists in Nigeria and beyond have invented the slogan- "BIAFRA OR DEATH", vowing that unless Nnamdi Kanu is released and the sovereignty of Biafra restored, they can never drop the agitation.

Nnamdi Kanu's Lawyer, Hon. Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor has voiced out that the incarceration of his client despite court orders that had previously granted him unconditional release violates Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, and 20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights; Articles 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 22 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Articles 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 17, 20, 21 and 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 22 Paragraph 1, of the Covenant of the League of Nations; as well as Resolution 2625 (Xxv) of the United Nations Charter of 1970.

Emeka G. Nnaoma  IPOB Ivory Coast National Coordinator

1 comment

  1. Excellent summary of Nnamdi Kanu's case against the Islamic and failed State of Nigeria – currently being led by jihadist/Sharia government of Buhari/APC. I hope all Nigerians have truly seen that Buhari is still a military dictator and a despotic tyrant. Nigeria is cursed and dead - thanks to his tyrannical president, an ignorant and illiterate Fulani bigot. All hail Biafra and May God bless Biafra Nation!

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