By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—Three lawyers, Chiefs Clifford Okoye, Maurice Efobi, and Sam Chukwukelu, have warned the Federal Government against the consequences of disobeying the recent United Nations, UN’s demand to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, from detention.
UN had recently demanded that Kanu be released from detention unconditionally as, according to the world body, Kanu is only seeking an independence of his Biafran people and, as such, his action has not yet warranted such unlawful detention.
However, the Federal Government is yet to heed the UN’s demand, as Kanu is still languishing inside the Directorate of State Services, DSS, custody, even as the government has never made any categorical affirmative or non-affirmative statement to that effect.
But Okoye, Efobi and Chukwukelu, who spoke to newsmen on the development, said the Nigerian government should not dismiss the UN’s statement with ignominy the same way they disobey or disregard orders from Nigerian courts and go scot-free.
Specifically, Okoye who was a one-time Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Aguata branch in Anambra State, declared: “I want to thank the UN for lending its voice to Nigeria’s internal affairs as a member nation under it and Nigeria should be a country where freedom of speech and expression are observed.
“Kanu is entitled to bail because treason is not a capital offence that will attract death by hanging. I recall the attack in Kanu’s home in Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State, by the military.
“Although that UN declaration is only persuasive and not compulsive, being that global strong voice, has a method of enforcing their actions against any deviant nation under it”, Okoye stated.
According to Efobi who was also a former Chairman of NBA, Idemili branch, Nigeria subscribed to the league of nations and we are bound to follow any decision taken by the UN. Therefore, we have no other option than to obey the umbrella body.
” The court has ruled that Kanu did not jump bail because his house was invaded and he had to flee to save his life. The court has equally ruled that his fundamental rights were infringed upon. So, he should be released unconditionally or else the UN has several sanctions to impose on Nigeria “.
Chukwukelu, also a Chairman emeritus of the Idemili branch of NBA, said the court which refused to grant Kanu bail recently, should have considered the fact that if Kanu had not escaped alive when the military invaded his house, he would have probably been dead by now and if he had died, he wouldn’t have been alive today to face trial because it is only the living that can face trial and not a dead person.”