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Update News: Indigenous People Of Biafra Agitation For Self Determination Is Legal - Lawyer Says

  MAY 03 , 2023 | EASTERN PILOT Report By: Raphael Ede | Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, has described th...



Report By: Raphael Ede |

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, has described the self-determination struggle of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra led by Nnamdi Kanu as legally guaranteed in the country’s laws. Ozekhome, who disclosed this in a keynote address at the Handshake Across The Niger II, held in Enugu on Friday, called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to order the immediate release of the incarcerated leader of IPOB.

“For the information of those harbouring the thought that it was an illegality or unconstitutionality, his self-determination agitation is in line with the Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); African Charter of Human and People’s Rights; Article 3&4 of United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (2007) among others. Nigeria is signatory to all these statue,” he said.

The event, which was organised by an Igbo think tank, Nzuko Umunna, is a project seeking to close the gap among major tribes in the country for a better Nigeria. In the address, the senior lawyer regretted the level of impunity in the country by leaders, adding that a Nigerian court ordered the release of Kanu but the Federal Government which should protect the rights of its citizens filed for a stay of execution and the same court granted it. Ozekhome, who is the lead counsel for the IPOB leader, insisted that Kanu never jumped bail as was erroneously bandied by the Federal Government.

According to him, Kanu rather escaped to save his life, which was heavily under threat during the invasion of his home by armed soldiers. He queried that if Kanu had been killed by the invading Nigerian Army officers whether the court case would have continued. He said, “We are telling the Federal Government that this is not proper. Set this man free. Nnamdi Kanu is not well. He has ear pains. The DSS doctors have confirmed that he is not doing well, health wise. “But they would still not allow him access to his own private doctor. “We have told the Supreme Court to do the needful. The case has been adjourned till May 11.

“Please sir, on my bended knees, you can order the release of Nnamdi Kanu today. You can do it through the Attorney General of the Federation, who has the power to discontinue the case. “You don’t have to wait for the Supreme Court decision before you do the right thing.”

Recall that the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday, October 13, 2022 declared as illegal and unlawful, the abduction of the Biafra nation agitator, Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria and quashed the entire terrorism charges brought against him by the Federal Government. The Court held that the Federal Government breached all local and international laws in the forceful rendition of Kanu to Nigeria, thereby making the terrorism charges against him incompetent and unlawful. In a judgment in an appeal by Kanu, by Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie, the criminal charges by the Federal Government against Kanu were voided and set aside.

The Appellate Court said that the Federal Government having flagrantly breached the fundamental rights of Kanu, lost the legal right to put him on trial. The Court held that laws are meant to be obeyed and that the Federal Government has no reason to have taken laws into her own hand in the illegal and unlawful way the matter of Kanu was handled. “By engaging in utter unlawful and illegal acts and in breach of its own laws in the instant matter, the Federal Government did not come to equity in clean hands and must be called to order.

“With appalling disregard to local and international laws, the Federal Government has lost the right to put the appellant on trial for any offence. “Treaties and Protocols are meant to be obeyed. No government in the world is permitted to abduct anybody without following due process of extradition. Nigeria is not an exception or excused. Nigeria must obey her own law and that of international, so as to avoid anarchy”, the Court held.


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