By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
NNEWI—THE Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to release without further delay, its members still being held in various detention centres and prisons in Nigeria, because the Federal Government lacks evidence and is not ready to further prosecute them.
IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, said: “With the ongoing moves by Nigerian government to frustrate, through frivolous applications and adjournments, all pending cases involving IPOB in various courts within and outside Nigeria, IPOB thinks that Nigerian Federal Government has nothing to show against its members as offence committed to warrant their further detention.
“We, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, think that the time has come for President Buhari ‘s regime to release those held illegally in detention centres and prisons across the country.
“It is unheard of in the history of the world that a government is seen to be running from their own courts and afraid of legal processes they themselves instituted against a group they labeled a terrorist organisation.
“Normally, a real terrorist group or unlawful society would not want to undergo public legal scrutiny but in the case of IPOB, we have offered and have taken this Buhari regime to court to prove that we are a peaceful organisation pursuing our inalienable right to self-determination.
“However, this present administration in Nigeria is yet to convince the world in an open court of law which is part of the law that the IPOB right to self determination is breaching.”
IPOB further berated the government for consistently failing to produce a single witness to testify and corroborate its wild accusations against the group.
“In over two years of bringing charges and amended charges against IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu alongside three others, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Chidiebere Onwudiwe and numerous other Biafrans detained across Nigeria on treasonable felony and conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, the Attorney General of the Federation and Department of State Services DSS have not produced a single evidence or material witness to substantiate their allegations that IPOB activities are in any way illegal.
“Instead, each court appearance has been turned into a drama session by the prosecution who will either pressure Justice Binta Nyako to adjourn on a flimsy excuse or they would simply amend the charge in order for the case to start afresh.
“Perversely ,this abuse of court process has been sanctioned by the Nigerian Judicial Council, NJC, because of their failure to provide adequate protection for their judges handling IPOB cases, from the intimidation of DSS and other government agencies.
“An instance can be drawn from the fact that EFCC has conveniently arranged for the ongoing corruption case against the husband and son of Justice Binta Nyako, the presiding judge, to be heard in the same court building and on the same date she hears IPOB cases.
“This is a way of pressuring her (Justice Nyako) to lean towards government directive on the path the case should take, or else her husband and son will be convicted. The Attorney General of the Federation must as a matter of urgency, stop this ongoing persecution of IPOB because the more they continue to arrest, detain, charge and adjourn cases at will, the more they make themselves the laughing stock of the legal world.
“Each day that passes without justice for those detained, especially those that have served a jail term without being convicted, the more the image of the Nigerian judiciary is taking a battering on the global stage.”
IPOB insisted that “no court of law in Nigeria can say today they have before them any evidence of wrong doing by the group. Ironically, it is the Nigerian government that is running from their own court of law.”
IPOB wonders how a terrorist organization will go to court to clear it’s name whereas the government that labeled them a terror group is afraid of coming to court to prove their case, saying that “It should be noted that the order proscribing IPOB was obtained in the office of a High Court m judge not an open court.
“Had the matter been heard in an open court no human being- let alone a judge, no matter how mentally retarded, will entertain such request let alone grant it.
“The whole world must still be wondering why the Nigerian Government went through the back door to beg the US State Department to grant them immunity from prosecution in US courts when they are busy selling the idea that IPOB is a terrorist group.
“Those who believe and have been hoodwinked into believing all APC government lies and propaganda against IPOB, should ask themselves why this Buhari administration is afraid proving their case in an open court.
“The upcoming hearing on the 20th of February 2018 in Federal High Court Abuja, presided by Justice Binta Nyako, must not be adjourned or charges amended to further delay justice for those illegally detained or else the world will realize that what is going on against IPOB is in actual fact a carefully planned and coordinated persecution of ethnic Judeo-Christian populations in the South.”