Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has said that it is no longer comfortable with the silence of the global community and rights organisations over the continued illegal detention of its Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
IPOB in a press statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, urged the international community to take the deteriorating health of its Leader seriously and prevail on Nigeria to free him in compliance with court judgments.
According to IPOB, it will amount to conspiracy of silence for the world to fold its arm and watch its Leader “who committed no crime” to warrant his arrest, gradually die in custody.
The statement made available to Ikengaonline read: “We the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (lPOB), express our displeasure on the silence of United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and ECOWAS as Nigeria grossly disobeys local and international laws regarding the unconditional release of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“We are saddened as the International Community watches in silence as the health of our leader deteriorates in solitary confinement dungeon of the Nigeria government where he has been held illegally and unlawfully against all UN and Nigeria Court Orders for almost 2 years.”
IPOB expressed discomfort over the long adjournment of Kanu’s bail application by the Supreme Court without considering his failing health.
It accused Government of masterminding the insecurity in the South-East to create the false impression that IPOB is a terror organisation.
“Any time his case is coming up either here in Nigeria or outside Nigeria, they Nigerian Government will sponsor multiple killings in the South-East so as to ascribe it to IPOB and people will see IPOB as a terrorist organisation.
“Both his application to transfer him to Kuje correctional center and application for his bail were all ripe for hearing but the Supreme Court failed to hear them and give bench ruling showing that they are being controlled by the Fulani Government.”
Going down memory lane, the statement further read: “Recall that in June 2021, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was abducted, detained, and tortured in an undisclosed private residence in Kenya by Nigeria Secret Agents. After eight days, he was blindfolded and extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria under gun point in a chattered flight by the Nigeria Government.
“He was arraigned in court blindfolded without legal representation. Irrespective of all these high levels of provocations, IPOB has remained peaceful and chose the path of the law to seek justice for our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. In July 2021, the UN Working Group on Arbitration ordered the Nigeria Government to unconditionally release our leader with payment of adequate compensation.
“On October 13, 2022, the Appeal Court of Nigeria quashed all pending charges, discharged and acquitted our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The same Appeal Court barred Nigerian Government from arresting, detaining, or arraigning him in any Nigeria court for similar offenses.
“A similar judgment was given in favor of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by Umuahia High Court on October 26, 2022. The Umuahia High Court ruled that the abduction and extraordinary rendition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was unlawful. The Court ordered Nigeria Government to return him to Kenya, apologise, and pay him One Billion Naira (N1 billion) as compensation. The Nigeria Government has flagrantly disobeyed all the court orders, including UN orders.”
IPOB said that the failure of the Federal Government to comply with the various court orders discharging Kanu “shows that the Nigeria Government is a pariah state where the rule of law is no longer obtainable.”
According to IPOB, the continued detention of Kanu is a ploy to kill him in custody, which it noted, would have bitter consequences.
“We believe that the Nigeria Government wants our leader to die in detention,” IPOB said, alleging that “it is also possible he has been given a slow acting poison which is why his health keeps deteriorating to eventually kill him.”
“In what we consider a conspiracy to kill our leader, the Nigeria Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court refused to entertain an appeal from Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyers over his deteriorating health. Instead, the Apex Court gave wicked long adjournment of 4 months to an innocent man that Appeal Court Justices have discharged and acquitted,” IPOB lamented.
“In all these human right and court abuses, there seems to be a conspiratorial silence among international organisations and her affiliate human rights organisations.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s continuous illegal detention and torture even after UN Working Group has ordered his release like Nigeria Appeal Court discharged and acquitted him shows that Nigeria is now above the Local and International Laws. Maybe Nigeria is no longer a signatory to the above International organisations or that these organisations have been lobbied to turn a blind eye to justice as it concerns Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, a British citizen, and a Biafran.”
IPOB said that Kanu is being persecuted for holding different political views.
IPOB further queried the world for always keeping mute when Ndigbo are at the receiving end, citing the civil war genocide.
“The international conspiracy of silence ensued when millions of Biafrans were massacred during 1967-1970 by the then Nigeria and British Governments. That genocide remains the second bloodiest genocide after the Jewish holocaust. Such atrocity cannot be allowed to be repeated.”