BY OSOLOKA NNAMDI in Awka•
Embattled group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has pleaded with the Nigeria Government to release all members of IPOB detained held illegally in various cells and prisons custody across the country.
IPOB, who made the demand through the Director of Media and Publicity Emma Powerful, which was made available to journalists in Onitsha, stated that the Nigeria authorities are frustrating all cases involving IPOB in various courts both in Nigeria and foreign countries.
The pro Biafra group also decried what it called delay of court process on cases involving IPOB and members.
Powerful stated that, “following the moves by Nigerian Government to frustrate, through frivolous applications and adjournments of all pending cases involving IPOB in various courts within and outside Nigeria, IPOB think that the time has come for this Buhari regime to release those held illegally in detention centres and prison all 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 labelled a terrorist organisation”
The statement reads further, “Normally a 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.
“This Buhari administration is yet to convince the world in an open court of law which part of IPOB right to self determination as presently exercised, is in breach of any known law of the land.
“It is the Buhari regime that is behaving like terrorists by failing to appear and doing everything they can to frustrate and delay ongoing cases so they won’t be cross examined under oath in an open court.
“Till date the Nigerian government have consistently failed to produce a single witness to testify on their behalf or corroborate their wild accusations against IPOB.
“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 DSS have not produced a single evidence or material witness to substantiate their allegations that IPOB activities is 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 simply amend the charge so the case with 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.
“For example, EFCC have 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 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 and postpone 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.
“No court of law in Nigeria can say today they have before them any evidence of wrong doing by IPOB. Ironically, it is the Nigerian government that is running from their own court of law.
“How can a terrorist organisation go to court to clear it’s name whereas the government that labelled them a terror group is afraid of coming to court to prove their case? 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 realise that what is going on against IPOB is in actual fact a carefully planned and coordinated persecution of ethnic Judeo-Christian populations,” the group said.