*Says Justice Tsoho’s judgment is biased, and must be overturned by A-Court
*MASSOB accuses FG of playing politics with Kanu
By Chimobi Nwaiwu & Ugochukwu Alaribe
NNEWI—The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, United Kingdom branch has faulted the reasons given by Hon. Justice John Tsoho of the Abuja Federal High Court Abuja for not granting the bail application of leader of IPOB and Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Similarly, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign States of Biafra, MASSOB, has accused the federal government of playing politics with the detained activist.
In a statement signed by the spokespersons for IPOB in United Kingdom Mr. Emma Nmezu, a lawyer, and Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya, IPOB said Justice Tsoho premised his judgment for not granting bail to Mr. Kanu on three reasons.
Reasons for continued detention
“The reasons according to him are: that Mazi Kanu was a threat to national security, secondly, that if released, he might commit the same offence again and thirdly, that there was a probability that Nnamdi Kanu might jump bail because he possessed dual citizenship.
“While the first and the third reasons are very clear, but unsustainable statements, we are at loss with the second reason and do not know exactly what the Justice meant by “might commit the same offense again.
“To the best of our knowledge, Mazi Kanu has not even been tried in the court , let alone talk of being convicted. Therefore, we do not understand the offence he was found guilty of committing and for which he will likely commit again if released, according to Justice Tsoho.
“Is it a possibility that the Justice Tsoho misspoke or that he never actually uttered this travesty of a statement. On the first reason adduced, we are yet to get detailed information on what the Judge meant by “threat to national security” because we know that Mazi Kanu is not associated with Boko Haram or any terrorist organization. Again, we are pushed to believe that Justice Tsoho misspoke,” said IPOB.
“We are however shocked on the third reason, to hear that a denial of bail will be based on the accused person’s dual citizenship.Even though the Judge did not mention the other country to which Nnamdi Kanu is a citizen, we know he was referring to Britain.
“But we also know that there is extradition agreement between Nigeria and Britain and extraditing Mazi Kanu to Nigeria, should he flee to Britain will not be a problem for the Nigerian government. Therefore, we conclude that the judgment of Justice Tsoho is inappropriate, biased, wrong, and must be overturned by an Appeal Court Judge.”
Similarly, the IPOB Media and Publicity Officer, Mr. Emma Powerful has faulted the denial of bail to Mr. Kanu, describing it as a systematic denial of the entire South East Nigeria of their right.
He said that every day, the present administration of the All Progressives Congress, APC, with its leader, President Muhammadu Buhari keeps exposing itself to the world that it has no respect for the rule of law and order of a competent court of law.
He wondered why in a country like Nigeria, people will not be allowed to engage in peaceful demonstrations and protests, wondering whether it will be better for them to engage in violent demonstrations and protests; carrying guns and throwing bombs like the Boko Haram insurgents.
“We are being pushed to the walls, our members who were engaged in peaceful protests in Aba, Abia State and Port Harcourt Rivers State were shot by the Army and taken to military barracks in Afikpo, Ebonyi state and Bori camp in Rivers State with bullet wounds.
“The victims are undergoing torture and other inhuman treatments, as they bring them out every morning, torture and engage them in all manner of hard labour and ask them about their missing guns as if IPOB members carry guns.
“We do not carry guns and do not intent to carry in the nearest future. We are therefore calling on Amnesty International, all human rights organizations and the international community to prevail on the Nigerian government to respect the rule of law and the order of the courts. At the last count, our members arrested in Aba are 25 while those in Port Harcourt are 18 in number, totaling 43 people detained in the two Army barracks in Ebonyi and Rivers states respectively” he said.
In a similar vein, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has accused the federal government of playing politics with the detained activist.
In an interview with Vanguard in Aba, National Director of Information, MASSOB, Chief Sunny Okereafor, lamented that Kanu’s detention has assumed a political dimension where the federal government appears determined to jail him at all cost.
According to him, “How can the federal government continue detaining Nnamdi Kanu when he has been granted bail? What is the difference between the first bail granted him and now the one denied him last week by Justice Tsoho? It is all about politics. There is no doubt that the federal government is playing politics with his detention. But MASSOB wants to let them know that they are playing with fire.
“How can Nigeria claim to be practicing democracy in this prevailing situation where a court of competent jurisdiction will grant bail only for the federal government to disagree? Since they don’t have evidence to prosecute him, they should set him free. Is it because he is of Igbo stock?
“During the trials, did you not see the discriminatory treatment being given to suspects where people like Olisa Metuh and Nnamdi Kanu were handcuffed while Sambo Dasuka, Jafaru Isa and even the terror suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, were allowed to walk freely? In Biafra, people’s rights will be respected. Nobody will be detained unnecessarily. There will be total obedience to court orders.”
Okereafor contended that the continued detention of Kanu has created problems for Nigeria and warned that the federal government is playing with fire.
“The detention of Nnamdi Kanu has been creating more problems. You can see that all cities and territories of Biafra; Asaba, Ijaw land, Ogoja, Aba, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Ikwerre, Ogoni and others are calling for his release. They should release him. It is just one of the many instances that Ndigbo have been reduced to second class citizens and not wanted in Nigeria.”
Uwazuruike as a father
On allegation that MASSOB founder, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike is envious of the IPOB leader, Okereafor said: “Chief Ralph Uwazurike is a father. He brought up Nnamdi Kanu and other pro Biafra activists including expelled members like Uchenna Madu. So, how can Uwazuruike now turn around to fight his children? He cannot stoop so low?”
In another development, the group called on the people of Niger Delta not to allow some Nigerians to put division between the South south and South East geo-political zones because they were together as former Eastern Region, are all Biafra’s and should remain so.
National Coordinator of IPOB, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe, a member from its security department, Mr. Don Black in a letter to the people of Niger Delta, titled, “Letter our Niger Delta People” said “before Nigeria coined that name Niger Delta which they later modernized today as South South, they should remember that both South South and South East were bond together in one region commonly known as Eastern Region, until the Federal Government of Nigeria under the former military Head of State Yakubu Gowon discovered that in unity lies our strength and then headed on to their master’s advice, the British and succeeded in tearing us apart”.
“We must fight on to retain our natural home “Biafra” than to keep a name given to us by our enemies which portray no good image for us and we should stop every attack on our people and oil installations that will affect our people, because they were never the root cause of our problems, rather the Nigerian Federal Government is our problem.
“Any attack on our people may corrupt their minds and make them to be thinking otherwise, by running to Federal government troops that will utilize every opportunity to extract information from them and come after us, even though we’re not afraid of them,” said IPOB.
The IPOB said when South East and South South were together as one region and one people, the issue of minority was never the case, but today the same people that divided and tear us apart are the ones calling us the minority, and we wonder why and how one can be a minority in his own country if Nigeria is actually our country..
“The same Federal Government of Nigeria that divided South East and South South are still responsible for our suffering, agony and woes of the two geo political zones till date. They killed our people, they carted away with our resources, they introduced hate among us and up till date they are the ones threatening our lives”.
“Our dear Niger Delta people, IPOB will not fail to start by saluting you all, starting from the top elder statesmen, commanders to the lower ranked officer, we admired your bravery and fight towards making sure that your God given resources will never be a curse among the inhabitants of Niger Delta which the Federal Government under the present administration has single out for total decimation” it said.
They said a former President of Nigeria during his tenure commanded the military to massacre people at Odi on November 20, 1999 which led to the death of about 2,500 indigenous people and up till date that man remain innocent and still talk on issues he is guilty of in Nigeria, despite the massacre”.
“Before now, we were told that Igbo man and Niger Deltan are the problem of Nigeria, but as we grow up with our brains intact, we have discovered that all these cock and bull stories about the Igbo and Niger Delta men were nothing but falsehood and deceit, aimed at calling us bad names in order to hang us.
“Their primary intention is to divide us in line with our Igbo brothers, they planted disunity among us, they reduce our strength and then promise to deal with us just as the administration of former Obasanjo administration did and went free. Now is the time to unite every Indigenous People of Biafra in the former Eastern region to build a strong fighting force in order to resist this present administration military from destroying our lives and heritage” said IPOB.
They regretted that in a retired Colonel in the Nigerian Army in recent publication, has urged the present Buhari administration to wipe out Niger Delta communities the same way Obasanjo administration did, saying that the call should be a lesson for the South South people.
“Our dear Niger Deltan’s, the former government was led by Obasanjo and the later government is being led by Buhari, if we may ask, who then are our enemies that must be decimated, both the South South and South East have a natural home which the Nigerian government with their British counterpart had destroyed.
“They destroyed our homes, destroyed our farms, polluted our water, destroyed our health, destroyed our businesses, destroyed our higher institutions, destroyed our industries, neglected our sea ports, neglected our airports, neglected our Roads and yet they are coming after our own lives and heritages”
“We are writing to you our Niger Delta brothers to come to give your total support for Biafra without any fear or favour of any political parties because only in Biafra we shall found peace.
“We want the people of Niger Deltan people to be rest assured that any attack against them by the agents of the present Federal government will always be an attack against us, your igbo brothers in South East because we are from the same family, the same blood and we share and have everything in common and as united people we can defeat the evil plans of present administration in Nigeria,” said IPOB.
The IPOB said the systematic arrest/detention and witch hunt of the sons and daughters South East and South South have not left us unnoticed, they have abandoned their own Boko Haram brothers, the likes of Abubakar Shekeur, and now they are after Tompolo simply because he refused to join a terrorist party.
“We must warn them that the war they want to bring upon us is beyond Tompolo or Nnamdi Kanu and but we warn them to be careful not to allow the war consume them, or allow it result to another Nigerian/Biafran civil war.
“Some top All Progressive Congress, APC members that looted the country dry and used our blood money to buy houses in Dubai, in United Arab Emirate will not determine our faith in the fight against corruption been piloted by the present government.
“Nigeria might have every necessary weapons in their disposal but this time, we shall unite ourselves and fight them with the last drop of our blood.I urge the South South and South East to never give up in our quest for the Sovereign State of Biafra, because at the end Biafra will be actualized.