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Friday 6 May 2016


The recent call to the ECOWAS Court by the Federal government to dismiss and/or strike out the application filed against her by the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on the frivolous ground of the court’s lack of “requisite jurisdiction”, is another pointer to their violation of rights of the independency of the judiciary coupled with that of citizen’s human rights.

Since the inception of this current regime, humanity has witnessed myriads of human rights abuse and disregard to the rule of law.Human rights activists, following Buhari’s statements on his media chat regarding the trial of former National Security Advisor, Sambo Dasuki, and Nnamdi Kanu has condemned the constant meddling in judicial matters by the Presidency.

While they have hitherto secured bail, the Nigeria’s Department of State Security(DSS) have violated such orders and failed to release the duo. It was against these backdrops and more that the defense counsels to Kanu has filed an application to secure his bail at the ECOWAS Court. “President Buhari betrayed lovers of constitutional democracy when he emphatically said his government would not release the duo because of what he termed the severity of their alleged offences", a human rights activist said.

Read also:FG to ECOWAS court: Hands-off Kanu’s case

Now what is the need of waiting for the conclusion of the Nigerian domestic courts when it is obvious that the President's influence on those courts are quite overwhelming. The deployment of Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High court who is known for being a willing tool for subversion of the rule of law and his penchant in giving room for misrule of judgment and travesty of justice, by President Buhari is an attestation to this fact.

To buttress this point is his shameful and unceremonious withdrawal from the trial of the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Highways Services, Mr. Wale Babalakin. His withdrawal from the case followed a letter written to the Chief Judge of the Federal High court Lagos by Babalakin, through his counsel, Abiodun Layonu, SAN, expressing fears that his client's fundamental human rights have been compromised and may not be protected by the judge, seeking the reassignment of the case to another judge.

While delivering his ruling on the said letter, the judge said he had no option than to hands off the case, following the content of the petition.
"Sequel to the letter written by the application to the Chief judge, which I have been copied, I have gone through the petition and have seen everything in it, I therefore disqualify myself and hands off this case", Justice Tsoho said. It behooves upon humanity to question this same John Tsoho that " why is he forcefully imposing himself upon the case of Nnamdi Kanu despite Kanu's Legal team petition for him to withdraw himself from the case just like he did with Babalakin? A clear sign that he is been used by Buhari to rule unjustly in the case.

On the 6th of May, the federal government shut itself in the leg for saying that the ECOWAS court has no jurisdiction to entertain his application whereas the same court in the application of Dasuki's bail ruled that it has the jurisdiction to entertain such applications bordering on granting of bail for the unlawful arrest and detention of defendants, against the objection of the federal government.


In the similar ruling delivered by Justice Friday Chijioke Nwoke, the ECOWAS court dismissed the objection of the government against Dasuki's suit on the ground that the objection was misconceived, frivolous and lacked merit.
Just like Dasuki, Kanu's case cannot be far different from his. The claim held by the Federal government that Kanu's case emanated from his trial on certain offences was inappropriate since the relieves sought by Kanu had nothing to do with his ongoing trial at the domestic courts of Nigeria and therefore their claims cannot stand in the face of the law since there is no similar matter being filed in any other international court.

Therefore the Federal government's order to the ECOWAS court to hands-off Kanu's case for reasons that his case is yet to be determined by the courts, lacked merit since a domestic court would not be allowed the status of an international court as envisaged in the treaty in which Nigeria is signatory.
And coming to the lack of jurisdiction, the ECOWAS court has a full jurisdiction in the issue for the enforcement of Kanu's fundamental rights to liberty, bail and against unlawful arrest, illegal detention which he is praying the court to grant him.


It is then left for the ECOWAS court to make their deliberations and pronunciation on the matter and not the federal government. The continuous detention of Kanu amidst previous rulings for his release is unconstitutional because of the unambiguous provisions of the constitution on separation of powers between the three main arms of government.
His illegal incarceration against the orders of competent courts amounts to the President's adoption of anarchy and lawlessness as his methodology of running Nigeria.

The President's act is unconstitutional and reprehensible and as such, any democratically elected administration that disrespects the constitution is committing high treason and if a government loses legitimacy, it becomes a gang of opportunist's tickets anarchists. Why must you strive to convict an innocent man seeking for his liberation and that of his people because you claim to want to save an already expired and incohesive State against the wishes of the constituent regions of a part of the country?
The Buhari-led government should prepare to answer that at the Ecowas court, because Kanu's case must be heard by the court.

Written By: Chukwuemeka Chimerue
Published by Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers

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