The ECOWAS Court of Justice sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, dismissed a suit the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, filed against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, alleging that he was tortured, assaulted and subjected to inhuman treatment by security operatives when he was arrested in 2015.
The regional court in a judgment read by Justice Dupe Atoki, held that the IPOB leader failed to prove his allegations against the Nigerian Government.
The ECOWAS Court stressed that it had no reason to conclude that his arrest and detention were unlawful and arbitrary as claimed.
The three-member panel of the Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Wednesday, December 11, also dismissed Kanu’s request for monetary compensation.
Though the Court acknowledged that Kanu had the legal capacity to approach it to seek redress for any violation of his human rights, it, however, held that without a mandate, he lacked the legal personality to represent the IPOB before the Court.
The ECOWAS Court thereafter struck out names of the second and third defendants, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the Director-General of the Department of State Service, DSS, from the suit on the premise that they were not signatories to the ECOWAS Revised Treaty, thus leaving only the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the sole defendant in the suit.
The IPOB leader had in the suit marked ECW/CCJ/APP/06/16, which he filed before the Court on March 3, 2016, through his lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, claimed that his rights to life, personal integrity, privacy, fair trial, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, personal liberty, freedom of association, private property, right to existence and right to self-determination were violated following his arrest and detention by Nigerian security agents.
Kanu also alleged that he was a victim of arbitrary arrest, detention, torture inhuman and degrading treatment while in detention, insisting that FG confiscated his personal belongings through its agent.
The IPOB leader demanded monetary compensation in the sum of $800 million US dollars.
However, Abdullahi Abubakar, a lawyer who represented the Nigerian Government, prayed the court to dismiss the suit which he contended lacked merit. FG argued that the country was obliged to enforce the rule of law as stipulated in its Constitution, Treaties, and Protocol that included defending the sovereignty of an undivided Nigeria.
Abubakar added that activities of IPOB were secessionist in nature as it instigated a separationist agenda among the people of the country’s South-East and South-South regions, using its Biafra Radio.
The lawyer to the Nigerian Government further averred that acts of the plaintiff were intended to garner support for a war against the defendant and carve out a geo-political area to be declared “The Republic of Biafra.”
Consequently, Abubakar stated that the defendant initiated an investigation into the allegations against the plaintiff that led to his arrest and discovery of illegal firearms and radio transmitters in his possession, items he said posed security risk to the country.
The defendant also submitted that the plaintiff was investigated while in detention for offences of criminal conspiracy, managing and belonging to an illegal society, saying though he was granted bail, he was detained again on fresh charges that bordered on treasonable felony.
The defendant told the ECOWAS court that although the plaintiff and some members of the IPOB had severally threatened the peace of the nation with their demands, it gave no orders to its agencies to kill members of IPOB nor did any such killings occur.
The Federal Government stressed that it remained committed to upholding the rule of law, while recognizing and protecting the fundamental rights of its citizens and all groups, including the IPOB.
Other members of the ECOWAS Court panel that upheld FG’s position and dismissed Kanu’s suit on Wednesday were Justices Edward Amoako Asante and Keikura Bangura. (Vanguard)
Biafra: ‘If You Don’t Want Us, Then Let Us Go’ — Onyeka Onwenu Tells Nigerian Govt [VIDEO]
Veteran Nigerian singer cum politician, Onyeka Onwenu, has asked the Nigerian government to “let Igbos go” if they’re no longer wanted in Nigeria.
The human rights activist made this statement at a conference tagged: “Never Again Conference: Nigerian Civil War 50 Years After” in commemoration with the Biafra War 50th Anniversary.
Onwenu stated that Nigeria cannot continue to inflict pains on Igbos and expect them to take the pains, adding that the Igbos are children of God and are in Nigeria for a purpose.
The legendary actress warned the rest of Nigerians that even if they continue to insult the Igbos, they (Igbos) will not succumb to intimidation.
Onwenu, who is the immediate past Director-General of the National Center for Women Development in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, warned that Nigeria cannot tell the Igbos to shut up and take the pain that is being inflicted on them.
“Listen, let me say to the rest of Nigerians, you insult us, (sometimes we do same to Nigerians and that is terrible, we have come to a stage where we have to be insulting each other so badly)”?
“Go ahead, we will not succumb, we will not bow. We are children of God, we are here for a purpose, God has put us for that purpose, you cannot drive us to the sea, you cannot tell us to shut up, take the pains that you’re inflicting on us on top of it.
“Listen, if you don’t want us, then let us go.”
“Listen, if you don’t want us, then let us go”
Vintage Onyeka Onwenu
The Elegant Stallion
— Dadiyata The Jonathanian (@The_Jonathanian) January 15, 2020
We Won’t Let IPOB Meeting Hold In Bayelsa — IYC
The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Central Zone, has insisted that it would not allow the Indigeneous People of Biafra (IPOB) to hold its meeting in any part of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that IPOB’s scheduled meeting in Yenagoa at the weekend could not hold because the Kennedy Olorogun-led IYC warned against it.
The IYC Chairman threatened that anybody caught holding such meeting in the state would be thoroughly beaten.
Describing such meeting as a threat to Ijaw nation, Olorogun maintained that IPOB should restrict activities for its agitations to its zone.
Clarifying his position, Olorogun told the Nation that the Ijaw people have their agitation against the Federal Government and had pursued it over the years.
He noted that contrary to the claims of some persons, Ijaw is not part of Biafran territory and will never partake in the activities of IPOB.
He explained that agitations had consequences adding that the Ijaw people had managed their issues without involving persons pushing for Biafra.
Olorogun said following tips received by the leadership of IYC that the IPOB members were preparing to arrive Yenagoa for a meeting, he promptly informed security agencies.
He said apart from warning IPOB against holding such gathering, the IYC sent a team to suspected venues and ensured no part of the state was used for the meeting.
He said: “The agitations of Ijaw against the Federal Government was born at the Kaiama Declaration. Right from then, we have pursued these agitations bearing all consequences associated with them.
“We do not want to inherit another agitation. Therefore, we have warned IPOB to stay away from Ijaw territory. We have said it time without number that Ijaw is not part of Biafran territory. They should restrict their activities within their zone.
“We are calling on hardworking Igbo people in our state to go about their businesses and we also want them to warn their IPOB brothers to stay away from the state.
“Any Biafra group caught holding meeting anywhere in Bayelsa State will be tagged as a deliberate attempt to fight the Ijaw people in their house, and we will not tolerate that but will stand to defend our territory with anything
“We also urge Ijaw people to be vigilant and pass information should in case they notice such meeting any day or anywhere in Bayelsa State”.
Nnamdi Kanu Might Not Attend Parents’ Burial — IPOB
Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) might miss his parents’ burial scheduled on February 14 as disclosed in a statement released by the proscribed group’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful.
The group which stated that it can’t confirm the attendance of its leader for the burial of his parents HRH Eze Israel Okwu Kanu and Ugoeze Sally Nmeme Okwu-Kanu, said the event will begin with procession and preparations in line with ancient customs and tradition.
Emma Powerful further disclosed that they are making arrangements to ensure that the burial is held in a safe atmosphere.
He said: “IPOB worldwide wish to announce to the world, particularly Biafrans, friends of Biafra, lovers of freedom and with regard for the protocol of the Afaraukwu Eze-in-Council that February 14, 2020 will be the burial date of our leader’s parents at Eze Sir Israel Okwu Kanu’s Palace in Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia Abia State capital.
“IPOB leadership will not be disclosing any information and have not disclosed any information regarding the likely attendance or not of our leader to this event.
“The movement and anticipated presence of our leader in his home during this period is yet to be finalised and as such, no confirmation or otherwise will be issued to that effect.
“IPOB High Command will determine under what circumstance any announcement will be made in the future.
“However, arrangements are being put in place to ensure the ceremony is held in a secure and safe atmosphere.
“IPOB is a peaceful movement and hope to maintain this approach until Biafra is completely restored.
“We are inviting every media outlet, local and international, print and electronic to be present in Isiama-Afaraukwu on that day.”