As Appeal Court fixes April 25 to hear Kanu, others appeal
By Emeka Mamah & Ikechukwu Nnochiri
Enugu—The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has said that the former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, and the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku were not commanders of the organisation as erroneously believed.
IPOB, however, said that the elder statesmen could be approached by some US Congressmen now in the country to speak on the ongoing persecution of its members by security agencies in the country.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the spokespersons of IPOB, Emma Mmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya yesterday.
IPOB had chosen Dr Arthur Nwankwo, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Archbishop Anthony Obinna, Gen. Alex Maduebo, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, as credible elders who would speak the truth about its agitations without being easily compromised.
The statement entitled, “Anyaoku, Ekwueme, Nwabueze and co not IPOB commanders,” read, “It has come to our notice that agents of our oppressors and avowed enemies of peace and justice have deliberately and mischievously twisted our suggestion that the visiting US congressional delegation will meet with Anyaoku, Ekwueme, Nwabueze and co, to mean that these great gentlemen have suddenly become IPOB members. This is not so, hence this clarification.
“Three weeks ago, the US Consular General visited the Southeast on a fact finding mission. Surprisingly, he met only with the All Progressives Congress, APC, Executive Committe in Enugu and predatory elements of moribund Ohanaeze where road construction, second Niger Bridge, appointment for more Ndigbo into Buhari’s cabinet among others were presented to the US delegation as the reason for our agitation for freedom by these pathetic and God forsaken groups.
“Again, two days ago, a delegation of US congressional staff arrived from Washington DC led by a senior staff of US Embassy in Nigeria and met with Ohanaeze at Nike Lake Hotel, Enugu, over our agitation for freedom from the hostile prison called Nigeria.
“Well-meaning and conscientious people all over the world expressed outrage and shock, wondering why in the world the US delegation is desperately avoiding the most credible names from our political space.
“The world over, fact finding teams usually seek out the most credible names in their search for the truth, not organisations that are well known to all and sundry as political jobbers and government errand boys like Ohanaeze which sole agenda today is only how to establish a self -serving relationship with the present government as they always do and have done with previous governments.
“IPOB maintains its position, that this visiting delegation ought to endeavour to meet and speak with credible names like Anyaoku, Nwabueze, Ekwueme, and co.
“That does not in any way translate to any of them suddenly becoming IPOB commander.
“Convinced that over 90 per cent of our people are standing with IPOB, we dare the Nigerian government to organise a referendum today to ascertain the authenticity of our demand to freedom. Our assertion that these and future visiting foreign delegations endeavour to meet with Ekwueme, Anyaoku and co, did not make them IPOB commanders.
“We also would wish them to meet with other credible opinion leaders from the clergy, traditional rulers, town union leaders, and even students’ unions.
“Arranging them discreetly (visiting delegations) to meet with Ohanaeze and scurry away the next day is suspicious, more importantly, hiding their visit from IPOB whose agitation led to their visit in the first place.
“This clarification became necessary because we learnt from these great men that some journalists were sending them emails asking them whether it was true that they had been appointed IPOB commanders. We are aware of the activities of enemies of equity, justice and fairness but they will never win.”
Appeal Court ruling
Also yesterday, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, slated April 25 to hear the appeal that was lodged before it by the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa has already constituted a three-man panel of Justices to hear the appeal Kanu entered alongside two other pro-Biafra agitators, David Nwawusi and Benjamin Madubugwu.
The appellate court panel will be presided over by Justice Moore Adumein.
However, the court said it could not hear the case until the end of its Easter vacation.
It will be recalled that the trio who are answering to a six-count treason charge had on Wednesday, asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stay further proceeding on the case against them.