By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA
The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned till March 14, 2022 hearing on the suit filed by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) seeking a referendum for an independent State of Biafra.
The case was adjourned after the court presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo could not sit as scheduled.
Counsel to the CNG, Barrister Sufiyanu Gambo Idris, who made the disclosure while briefing journalists, said, “The suit has been adjourned till March 14, 2022, as there are people and groups that have applied to be joined as parties to the suit.”
Speaking also, CNG Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, recalled that the organization had in June 2021 sued the National Assembly, and the Attorney General, asking the court to compels the defendants to halt the ongoing constitutional review exercise and in its place, conduct a referendum to determine what determines Nigeria and who populates it.
He expressed delight that other socio-cultural organizations have sought to be joined as plaintiffs, saying: “We have an interesting development that all tribes in Nigeria have come together to agree on a peaceful decent, and civilized way out of the quagmire we have been in for more than 60 years.
“We believe that this time around, the solution is ultimately on our doorstep because there has never been a time a legal and decent civilized approached was adopted and we are very much happy about the development.”
In the same vein, the Igbo nation lead counsel, Victor Onwaremadu, explained that it is the mind of Nigerians that a referendum should be conducted.
He said, “Northerners too have equally asked National Assembly that referendum should be conducted, so what are we waiting for?
“It is not mandatory that we must leave this country. If all the regions come together and say we want to have one united Nigeria, people would be happy. and if they don’t want, let us part ways so that every region can develop according to their pace. I think this would bring justice, development, equity, and fairness in the country”.
Also, the Yoruba nation counsel, Barrister Timilehin Albert, disclosed that the Yoruba Nation agitators were also interested in self-determination.
Therefore, he said, any order of court about referendum should be cut across the board.
“Let every tribe have the right to determine whether to leave or live in the country or to move out. Self-determination is very sacrosanct,” he said.
Similarly, the Ijaw nation leads counsel, Barr. Sunday Efiko who applied to join the application said: “We have applied to be joined in this matter as a defendant because is a matter of interest to us, we don’t want to sit at a home and barb our hair again.
“Our position is that we are not opposing the application but we are saying that it should be only Southern eastern that should leave, everybody should be allowed to decide whether they want to be part of Nigeria or not and that’s our prayer before the court,” he said.