THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has condemned the recent application submitted to the Community Court of West Africa, ECOWAS court, by the Nigerian federal government, saying the application was seeking to frustrate the ongoing human rights enforcement process.
The IPOB alleged that it had become customary for the “APC government to abuse and violate human rights at will and when confronted with their deeds in a competent court of law, they resort to blackmail, cheap lies, misinformation and sometimes inducing the certain sections of the media to help them sway public opinion against victims of their cruel regime.”
In a statement issued by the organisation, it charged that instead of addressing the substance of the charges against it before the ECOWAS court for about two years now, the government had resorted to media trial and smear campaign.
The statement signed by Emma Power, the publicity secretary, said: “The case of abuse of fundamental human rights by the Buhari regime brought by the leader of IPOB Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at the ECOWAS Court has been pending for two years, with the government employing all manner of delay tactics to frustrate the case. Now they are holding Nnamdi Kanu in their custody, having denied such publicly, they have finally woken up to ask the court to dismiss the charges against them after sanctioning and conducting the kidnapping raid in Afaraukwu on the 14th of September 2017. It will be fair to assume, going by the antics of this government, that their primary reason for the murderous raid on the home of the IPOB leader, was to remove him from circulation and truncate all legal matters involving him. The government think their plans will remain undetected forever but they are mistaken. Why didn’t the Buhari regime bother to attend ECOWAS Court throughout the period Nnamdi Kanu was out on bail or in prison? They resorted to intimidating the courts, first with announcement of withdrawal of funding for ECOWAS Court, when that didn’t work they embarked on their favorite adjournment after adjournment strategy. Since this didn’t work and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu went to Ohafia to announce publicly he’d be attending court on the 17th of October 2017 with 2 million men, the powers that be raided his house and abducted him.
“During his speech at that rally in Ohafia, the IPOB leader said metaphorically that he will return with Buhari’s head from Abuja on the said October 17th. The Nigerian establishment panicked and decided to stop him from attending court on the said 17th October. How can Nigeria approach the same ECOWAS court they have been running from to ask that the matter be struck out on the grounds that he, Kanu, has jumped bail when they are people that abducted and probably killed him. A clever ploy no doubt, but one no reasonable person will buy. Why didn’t the Nigerian government apply for this matter to be dismissed when Kanu was accessible and conducting his peaceful rallies? Why have they made this request now, considering they are the one that never attended court in the past?
“What is glaringly obvious is that Nigerian government organised Operation Python Dance as a cover to kidnap our leader. They planned it in such a way that they will be the one to approach the courts to claim Kanu jumped bail in order to deflect world attention away from their disgraceful record of human rights abuses which ECOWAS Court was bound to expose. To the undiscerning mind, Ministry of Information sponsored media campaigns of Nnamdi Kanu has jumped bail, may appear plausible but it is a simple concocted lie. They hope to dominate the airwaves and deflect attention away from the real issue at hand which is that this Buhari regime kidnap and lock up innocent people without trial.
“Nigeria should stop running to the pages of newspapers to conduct litigation and prosecution, they should come to the law court to defend their record. Let the strength of their evidence speak for them rather than relying on cheap propaganda. Cases are won and lost in the law courts not on the pages of newspapers. As long as Nigerian Army extra judicially invaded the home of an unarmed man without court warrant, they are responsible for producing him in court. Lawyers representing Nigeria may think the public can be fooled so easily but they are mistaken. Kanu’s ECOWAS court case against Buhari predates the events of 14 September which the Nigerian authorities instigated without provocation. The doctrine of last seen is one rooted in the principles of natural justice. You cannot invade the home of an innocent man without court warrant, kill 28 unarmed civilians in the process, ransack his bedroom, then expect him to miraculously appear from thin air.
“Live bullets were expended in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s bedroom, there are countless bullet holes on the walls of his bedroom to confirm this. Who were the soldiers firing at when they stormed into Kanu’s bedroom? This is the question Buratai and his men must answer or are we to assume they were merely firing at a ghost. For any soldier to raise his assault weapon to shoot at any object during a raid, it must be that the soldier was confronted with a dangerous situation or he has sight of their target. Who did the soldiers shoot in Kanu’s bedroom, that is the question that must be answered.
“Witness and counsel intimidation, cheap propaganda and bare faced lies cannot save this government from the full weight of the law both domestic and international.
“We are steadfastly calling upon the civilised world to prevail upon the Nigerian government and her security operatives, especially the Nigerian Army and Police who invaded the home of our leader on the 14th day of September 2017 to produce him in court for trial. Detaining him illegally whilst claiming he has jumped bail is bare-faced black lie from the darkest recesses of hell. Nigerian soldiers saw him last, therefore they must produce him.”
– Nov. 28, 2017 @ 18:55 GMT