- …As Police arrest 12 IPOB members in Enugu
- …NBA chieftain backs group over Sept 23 sit-at-home protest
By Nwabueze Okonkwo & Francis Igata
ENUGU—The International Society for Civil Liberties and the rule of law, Intersociety has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to end what it termed his obvious meddlesomeness in the case of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and the Judiciary and to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, to either prove the Federal Government’s allegation that Kanu committed treasonable felony or withdraw the bogus charges against him for want of evidence.
Intersociety also tasked Buhari to publicly renounce his abominable pronouncement made on December 30, 2015 during his maiden Presidential Chat; upon which the Judiciary was frightened that it became terrified to the extent of conducting its proceedings (i.e. Hon Justice John Tsoho in Nnamdi Kanu’s Case) according to the dictates or whims and caprices of the President.
In an open letter to the United Nations, the group contended that Buhari should steer clear of Kanu’s ongoing court case and allow a level playing ground for the accused and his accusers to prove their cases beyond all reasonable doubts, adding that constitutionalism should be strictly followed in the case, including the need for the proceedings or proposed trial to be conducted in the open court in accordance with Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended in 2011, as well as the ICCPR and the ACHPR Treaty Laws
In the letter, entitled: “International Justice Appeal For Freedom Of Nnamdi Kanu (Leader Of Indigenous People Of Biafra-IPOB) And Other Victims Of The Regime’s Atrocities In Nigeria”, the group noted that Buhari should refrain from making further mockery of the rule of law and citizens’ constitutional liberties by arresting and clamping citizens into detention for over three months without trial; contrary to Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011.
Copied are the Secretary-General of UN; President of the UN General Assembly; President of the UN Security Council; The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; The United, UN Special Rapporteurs on: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatments or Punishments, Truth, Justice & Reparation; Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions;
Honourable British Prime Minister, Distinguished British Parliamentarians and Distinguished European Union Leaders; President of the United States & Distinguished US Congressmen & women , Intersociety said Buhari must end his clamp down, indiscriminate arrest and long detention without trial of pro-Biafra activists across Nigeria or any part thereof, particularly members of IPOB and release all their members languishing in various DSS cells across the country without trial.
12 IPOB members arrested in Enugu
Meantime, no fewer than 12 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra,IPOB, were last Monday arrested by operatives of Enugu Police Command. The suspects were nabbed inside the popular Ogbete Main Market, Enugu as they allegedly went into the market with public address system to tell people of the market not to come to market from yesterday.
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ebere Amaraizu, Superintendent of Police confirmed the arrest, adding that they would be arraigned in court once investigation is concluded.
According to Amaraizu,”The IPOB was caught threatening that the market be shut from yesterday. We recovered from suspects 21 handsets of different types,various leaflets some of which read: IPOB for the betterment of your children and that of yourself; Please sit at home on 23/9/16; There will be no work, no school, no business, no market; Free Nnamdi Kanu, free Biafra; All hail Biafra.
“Also recovered were flags suspected to be that of the group with their insignia,public address systems, one wireless microphone. Suspects are helping the operatives in their investigations and will soon be charged to court.”
Backing IPOB over planned Sept. 23 sit-at-home protest
But yesterday, a chieftain of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ben Okoko said that the September 23, 2016 sit-at-home protest being proposed by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has a legal backing under the freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly and association, as enshrined in Section 39 and 40 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria.
He, however, noted that IPOB and its proposed protest is not covered under the law if they resort to use of force to compel the masses to join in the protest or observe the sit-at-home order, against their wish.