Kanu petitions Appeal Court President, wants date to hear IPOB proscription suit

Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has petitioned the President of the Court of Appeal, asking for a date to be fixed to hear the appeal challenging the Exparte Order proscribing IPOB.

Kanu made the demand in a letter dated November 9, but obtained by journalists on Monday.

He expressed grief that several IPOB members and sympathisers were illegally held without trial under inhuman conditions in various security cells across the country.

According to him, the delay in hearing the appeal challenging the unilateral proscription of IPOB was the reason the Federal Government and its agencies had continued to treat members of the pro-Biafra movement as terrorists.

The letter read: “My lord, I am reliably informed by the lawyers engaged by IPOB that so many Igbo men, women and youths who profess or sympathize with IPOB are currently held in detention in various cells and without trial or court orders. Notorious of these detention centres are the WAWA Military Barracks cells in Kanji, Niger State; Tiger Base Police Barracks in Owerri, Imo State; State Security Service cell in Anambra, Enugu and Rivers State to mention a few.

“Some of those so detained have gotten orders and judgments of court for their release or even production in court and yet the detaining authorities have refused to obey such orders.

“My lord, for the sake of salvaging what is remaining of the respect for the Rule of Law and the Constitution of Nigeria, I humbly beg you in the name of whatever you hold so dearly, to give us a date to hear Appeal No: CA/A/214/2018 challenging the Exparte Order proscribing IPOB.

“Only a clear judicial order made after hearing each party can have the semblance of justice in this matter. My lord, plead with you in the name of the Constitution that you swore to uphold not to stand by and watch while human beings are murdered by security agencies or made to languish in detentions without trial simply because they profess to be members of IPOB or sympathizers.

”I beg for a date to hear our appeal against the obvious injustice dished out via exparte order of the Federal High Court which has aided the Executive, under Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to undermine the rule of law and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you for your prompt consideration of my humble application”.

The IPOB leader, however, hailed the courage of the Justices of the Appeal Court who discharged him of the treason charge preferred against him by the Federal Government, commending the Appeal Court President for allowing the Justices the free hand to decide the matter without any interference.

According to Kanu, the judgment showed there is still hope in the Nigeria judiciary.

“I write to salute and appreciate the judges of the Court of Appeal who exhibited unprecedented courage and mastery of international law in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022 on the 13 of October 2022 and discharged me of all court charge retained by his lordship, Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court.

“The exemplary exhibition of courage and mastery of the law, particularly as it relates to my extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria is a significant pointer that some Nigerians and indeed some judges still impartially hold the scale of justice and are not easily carried away by executive influences and interference.

“I must note that these three wise men, Hon. Justice Jummai Hannatu Sankey, Hon. Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie, and Hon. Justice Ebiowei Tobi have set the first-ever Nigerian precedent on extraordinary rendition. They have broken new grounds in law for the people of Nigeria to rely on in similar cases, and this was achieved because you, as President of the Court of Appeal gave them the free hand to determine my case according to their understanding and appreciation of the law. Thank you, sir.

“it is unfortunate that Hon. Justice Jummai Hannatu Sankey’s husband was murdered shortly after she delivered her judgment in my case under reference. This would not have happened if Gen. Mohammadu Buhari’s government took the security of both citizens and people living in Nigeria seriously”, added.

He also explained why he formed the Eastern Security Network (ESN), saying it was a child of circumstance.

Kanu said: “It is to avoid my people suffering such fate that we established the Indigenous People of Biafra and later the Eastern Security Network.

“We did not want our people to suffer the fate of Plateau State people of the Jos North axis or those of the Benue people whose communities are being ravaged by murderous herdsmen, bandits and or Boko Haram from the Sahel regions of Africa.

“People must not fold their hands and wait for an incompetent and culpable government to protect them.

“It was for this step we took that the Gen. Mohammadu Buhari regime and his culpable Attorney General, Abubakar Malami arm- twisted the then acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to proscribe IPOB and declare it a terrorist organization, thus, giving their fascist administration the judicial instrument to kill, maim and destroy hundreds of men, women and children in the South East of Nigeria.”