BIAFRA: Nnamdi Kanu seeks UN, EU intervention over ‘illegal’ detention
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and former director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has urged the international community to ask President Buhari to release him from prison.
Kanu who spoke through his lead counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, during a press briefing in Abuja called on the United Nations, European Union to come to his aid and facilitate his release from detention.
The IPOB leader who cited his continued detention as clear disobedience to court orders, further charged ECOWAS to ensure his freedom from imprisonment by the federal government.
“Only yesterday or so, the federal government deployed soldiers to Gambia to interfere because the incumbent president’s disobedience to court order – refusal to step down having lost elections. Now the ECOWAS community has come together and deem it fit that they will have to intervene in this circumstance. Now, this is a country [Nigeria] where a president disobeyed the order of court demanding that somebody should be released unconditionally.
“It now also brings to bear that we[IPOB] are going to take certain necessary actions to bring United Nations into this case. We are going to bring the international community in – United Nations, European Union and also the ECOWAS community because they have to come and compel the federal government to obey the order of court which directed that Nnamdi Kanu should be released unconditionally.”
Earlier in May 2016, the federal government informed the ECOWAS court to dismiss Kanu’s petition of illegal detention.
The Buhari-led government bluntly told the ECOWAS community court sitting in Abuja not to hear a matter brought before it by the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, over his continued incarceration and trial.
The government, in its written preliminary objection filed by the Federal Ministry of Justice, to Kanu’s suit, No. ECW/CCJ/APP/06/16, submitted that the sub-regional court lacked, “the requisite jurisdiction” to hear and determine the matter before it.
Consequently, it has urged the court to dismiss and/or strike out the action for want of jurisdiction, “stemming from incompetency in initiating the application against the defendants.”
The government noted that instead of waiting for conclusion of his application before the Nigerian Domestic Court of Appeal on his bail, the plaintiff proceeded to the ECOWAS court, a move it stated, amounted to, “an abuse of court process or subjecting the Nigerian law to ridicule.”
It submitted that Kanu, was being tried under existing Nigerian domestic laws and as such cannot properly file the suit before the sub-regional court.
The IPOB leader is facing an11-count charge alongside three other pro-Biafra agitators, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi. Charges against the accused persons border on reasonable felony and their alleged involvement in acts of terrorism.
Kanu who was hitherto the Director of Radio Biafra and Television, has been in detention since October 14, 2015, when he was arrested by security operatives upon his arrival to Nigeria from his base in the United Kingdom. The defendants were alleged to have committed treasonable felony, an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. The federal government alleged that they were the ones managing the affairs of the IPOB which it described as “an unlawful society”.