• Slams 7-count ammended suit
•Ensure that Nnamdi Kanu is in Court on Thursday, Ohanaeze tells FG
•IPoB replies DSS over kidnapping allegation
•Warns Igbo, especially students, to be vigilant
By Anayo Okoli, Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Dennis Agbo & Nwabueze Okonkwo, ABUJA
The Federal Government has filed an amended seven-count charge against the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
The amended charge, which was filed by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, borders on treasonable felony and Kanu’s alleged involvement in acts of terrorism.
This came at a time, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze has called on the Presidency to ensure that Kanu is produced in Court.
Ohanaeze spoke as the Indigenous People of Biarfa, IPOB, yesterday, replied those linking it with alleged plans to kidnap federal government workers and students in schools in the south east, particularly the Department of State Services, DSS, that it is not Fulani terrorists and bandits that specialize in kidnapping students of tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools.
7-count amended terrorism charge
The federal government included a fresh allegation that Kanu had in furtherance of an act of terrorism, issued a deadly threat that anyone that flouted his sit-at-home order should write his or her will.
FG alleged that as a result of Kanu’s directive, banks, schools, markets, shopping malls, fuel stations were not opened for businesses, with vehicular movements grounded in the South East region of the country.
It said the action amounted to an offence contrary to and punishable under 1(2) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.
FG alleged that Kanu had “on or about the 28th April, 2015 in London, United Kingdom done in a broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu, Enugu State and other parts of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, referred to Major General Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a paedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil, knowing same to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C. 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.
He was 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
He was alleged to have between 2018 and 2021, through Radio Biafra, professed to be a member of IPOB, a proscribed organization in Nigeria and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.
In count five of the charges FG alleged that Kanu had on April 22, 2021, in London, United Kingdom, on Radio Biafra, monitored in Enugu and other parts of Nigeria, done an act of terrorism “in that you incited the other members (followers) of the Indegenious People of Biafra, IPOB, a proscribed organization in Nigeria, to look for security personnel, their family members through a Radio Biafra on 102.1FM monitored through the IPoB Community Radio, and you, thereby, committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 1 (2) (h) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.
Attached in support of the amended charge dated October 14, included a seven-paragraphed affidavit of completion of investigation deposed to by one Loveme Odubo, a prosecutor in the Federal Ministry of Justice.
FG equally lined up five witnesses to testify in the matter, among whom are officials of the Department of State Service, DSS, and one Ronald S. who was identified as the manager of a Hotel in Lagos.
The embattled IPOB leader will be re-arraigned before trial Justice Binta Nyako on Thursday.
Ensure Nnamdi Kanu is in Court on Thursday, Ohanaeze tells FG
Ohanaeze said the appearance of Kanu in Court “is necessary to prove to the global community that Nnamdi Kanu is not only hale and hearty but that shady judicial process is not contemplated while on trial”.
Recall the IPOB has threatened to shut down the South East if their leader is not produced in Court on that day.
As a trouble shooting measure, the Igbo apex body is urging the Federal Government to ensure that Kanu is brought to court, an action which would make his followers confirm that he is alive and well contrary to rumours in the social media that he was sick and taken overseas for treatment.
Ohanaeze also urged the leader of its delegation to the trial of Kanu, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife and our legal team led by the National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Barr. Joseph Ojodu and Barr. Goddy Uwazurike to put in their very best to ensure that Nnamdi Kanu obtains justice.
Wondering why the Federal Government is not disposed to dialogue over Kanu’s case where as they are holding dialogue with bandits, Miyettti Allah and Boko Haram members, Ohanaeze called for dialogue to resolve the Kanu matter.
“Ohanaeze structures, including the Council of Elders, Council of Traditional Rulers, the Igbo Governors, Igbo NASS members, government officials, Archbishops and the Clergy, stakeholders, youth and women wings, town unions etc. are ready for a meaningful dialogue with the federal government of Nigeria on a plethora of challenges facing the igbo nation and Nigeria.
“Our core objective is a sense of belonging in a country anchored on equity, justice and fairness
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide enunciates that the guard rail of democracy is anchored on toleration, forbearance and dialogue”, the Igbo apex body said.
In a statement signed by the National publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, the apex body said Ohanaeze told the Federal Government that ensuring equity, justice and fairness would definitely bring peace in the nation.
“History shows that it is extremely difficult to have peace amidst injustice.
“Emphatically, we needed not look elsewhere to know that IPOB is simply an exponent of Igbo collective sentiments and predicaments in our tortuous journey and an unquantifiable sacrifice for one Nigeria.
“Ndigbo stands on a firm wicket to proclaim that the agitation and youth restiveness in the South East of Nigeria is simply a reaction or an effect or the consequences of an orchestrated alienation by the federal government over the years.
“The theory of causality quickly reminds us that a phenomenon or a chain of phenomena contributes to the production of other forms of phenomena; where the cause is partly responsible for the effect.
“On the other hand, not until some of the issues of obvious injustice against the Igbo are seen to be addressed, the chains of catastrophe that threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria may well-nigh be inevitable.
“The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador George Obiozor had in his inaugural speech on January 20, 2021 called on the Presidency to consider Dialogue as a panacea to peace; insisting that the jackboot approach to the IPOB uprising will rather aggravate the precarious situation.
“Professor Obiozor, a seasoned diplomat and scholar urged the federal government to reconsider the use of force in solving the present national crises.
“Obiozor relied on his knowledge of history and international relations to explain that military and violent means to solve the national question is bound to fail as it leads to further national fractionalization; anarchy and eventual or inevitable disintegration, as in all empires or multinational states or countries.
“Ohanaeze considers the use of dialogue and political solution as the only workable option open to the presidency and indeed all men and women of goodwill that desire peace and sustainable growth for Nigeria.
“Ohanaeze recalls with consternation that on May 2, 2019, a federal government delegation led by the Minister of Interior, Abdul-Rahman Dambazau, held a meeting with national leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, as part of steps to address the country’s security challenges.
“The meeting was hosted by the Governor of Kebbi State, Alh. Atiku Bagudu.
“In attendance was the then Acting Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Muhammad Adamu. Bagudu remarked: “This shows the seriousness of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in tackling the security challenges in the country.
“The President of MACBAN, Alhaji Muhammad Kiruwa, also lauded the federal government for mulling such an important interaction.”
According to Kiruwa, “this is the first of its kind in the history of this country, for the president to direct his security aides to interact with an aggrieved party to air its views.
“The internet shows the global rating of Miyetti Allah as a terrorist group, yet the federal government has met with the body in search of peace.
“During the time of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Niger Delta was at the peak of youth restiveness and Yar’Adua opened a channel for dialogue and the matter was over.
“President Goodluck Jonathan, during his incumbency, had set up a committee commonly referred to as the Presidential Committee on Dialogue with Boko Haram, an initiative which has been sustained by President Buhari administration.
“As at today, Governors in the North have openly demonstrated their desire for dialogue with dreaded groups terrorizing their regions; the videos clips abound.
“Based on the foregoing, the Ohanaeze structures, including the Council of Elders, Council of Traditional Rulers, the Igbo Governors, Igbo NASS members, government officials Archbishops and the Clergy, stakeholders, youth and women wings, town union, etc, are ready for a meaningful dialogue with the federal government of Nigeria on a plethora of challenges facing the Igbo nation and Nigeria.
“Our core objective is a sense of belonging in a country anchored on equity, justice and fairness
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide enunciates that the guard rail of democracy is anchored on toleration, forbearance and dialogue.
“Good governance is merely an outcome based on the application of the democratic norms and values.
“And not until the right thing is done and seen to have been done, Nigeria will most likely continue in its downward spiral.
“Finally, we urge the leader of Ohanaeze delegation to the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife and our legal team led by the National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Barr. Joseph Ojodu and Barr. Goddy Uwazurike to put in their very best to ensure that Nnamdi Kanu obtains justice”, Ohanaeze stated.
IPoB replies DSS over kidnapping allegation
IPOB described the DSS allegation as the figment of their imagination and that of the Ebonyi State government to create insecurity in Biafraland, blame it on the group in order to achieve their already set objective of declaring state of emergency in a state in South East, which the Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has exposed.
A statement by IPoB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, entitled, “IPOB is a freedom fighting movement.
“We are not Fulani terrorists that kidnap students and the masses” stated that it is not in the business of kidnapping people, it has been protecting against the invasion and killings by terrorists and killer herdsmen who have been working to take over South East
It also promised its accusers that they will not be given any space in South East to introduce kidnapping of people and students, urging everybody to stand up and resist the vampires who derive joy in bloodletting and warned students in South East to be vigilant, alleging that its accusers are planning to replicate students and workers kidnapping in South East.
IPoB statement read in part: “The attention of the global movement and family of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under the command and leadership of our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the fabricated statement by Department of State Services, DSS, claiming that IPOB is planning to kidnap students and workers of federal institutions in South East and South South particularly, those in Ebonyi.
“This falsehood from DSS is part of their covert plan to create insecurity in Biafra land, blame it on IPOB in order to achieve their already set objective which the Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, has made open by threatening to declare a state of emergency in a Biafra land.
“We want to make it clear to all Biafrans and the world at large, that IPOB is not in the business of kidnapping people.
“Biafrans and humanity are very much aware of those who kidnap innocent people and ask for ransom.
“Biafrans and humanity are also aware that the Nigerian government is working in collaboration with the kidnappers as they will always negotiate with these evil terrorists and hugely reward them financially in the name of ransom payment.
“These terrorists will now use the money given to them by the Nigerian government to purchase more weapons.”