Thursday 13 October, 2016
Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, and the architect of the renewed agitation for the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra, was on the 14th of October 2015, kidnapped at Golden Tulip Essential Hotel, Ikeja by some members of the Department of State Security Services, DSSS, who also made away with his belongings which include his traveling documents, $2,200 and 7000 naira.
Since the incident which has gradually lingered for 365 days and still counting, it has been an awful show of shame and ignominy as the executive arm of the Nigerian government, in manipulating the judiciary, proved themselves to be grossly unlettered in both the knowledge of law and its application.
CHRONICLE OF EVENTS:
19th October 2015: Nnamdi Kanu was secretly arraigned in court, at the Magistrate Court Wuse, Abuja. He was charged for Criminal conspiracy, Managing & Belonging to an Unlawful Society and Criminal Intimidation contrary to section 97, 97b and 397 of the Penal Code (applicable in Northern Nigeria).
Read also:Biafra:Breaking!! Buhari Orders DSS' To Steal Nnamdi Kanu’s Case File From The Court Registrar: Threatens Justice Ademola To Jail Nnamdi Kanu In Exchange For His Freedom
The court granted him bail with stringent conditions including getting a civil servant of Grade 16 who owns a landed property within Abuja Metropolis and in the sum of 10 million naira as his bail surety. The bail conditions, though as stringent as it was, were met, yet he was not released at the orders of the dictator of the islamic republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.
18th November 2015: Trial was stalled following the failure of the DSS to produce Kanu in court. The case was adjourned till November 23rd by Magistrate Shuaibu Usman.
23rd November 2015: The DSS requested the Magistrate to discontinue the trail as they have obtained an order from the Federal High court, Abuja, to detain the accused in its custody for 90 days. At this, Mr. Obetta, the lawyer to the accused, objected, stating that the prosecution did not present any information from the Attorney-General of Nigeria Federation who has the authority to approve such. At this point, the Magistrate adjourned the case till December 1st, 2015 for ruling.
1st December 2015: The court did not hear case due to Magistrate’s father’s death which occurred on 26th of November 2015 (5 days before the hearing).
Read also:Biafra: I will Not Release You If You Don't Obey Me Like John Tsoho: Jail Nnamdi Kanu For Me...Buhari Warns Justice Ademola
16th December 2015: The Magistrate, Shuaibu Usman, struck out all criminal charges leveled against Mr. Kanu and discharged him. On this, Mr. Idakwo, counsel to State Security Services argued that further investigations by the SSS had shown that charges against Mr. Kanu could not be entertained by the Magistrate court due to lack of jurisdiction as he had already informed the Federal High Court in Abuja that Mr. Kanu was sponsoring terrorism against Nigeria.
He also claimed to have evidences of bank accounts owned by the accused person where monies (both in dollars and pound sterling) were allegedly used for financing acts of terrorism against the country.
17th December 2015: Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered the unconditional release of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu stating that no law permitted the SSS or any other security agency to detain him for so long without trial. He further ruled that his continued detention without trial violated Section 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and Section 35 of the 1999 constitution.
18th December 2015: The DSS filed a three-count fresh charge of treason, managing the affairs of ‘’an unlawful society’’ and concealing goods in a container against Nnamdi Kanu.
Read also:Biafra: Nnamdi Kanu Is A Threat To My Government And Obstacle To Islamize Biafrans, I Cannot Release Him"--Buhari
23rd December 2015: The judge of the Federal High Court refused hearing the fresh count charges against the accused, Mr Kanu. More to this, Nnamdi Kanu accused the DSS of ‘’Contempt’’ as the judge remitted the case file to the chief judge of the court to reassign it.
25th January 2016: The accused was arraigned in court with handcuffs. This time, the case has been reassigned to Justice John Tsoho who had on January 20th, ordered that Mr. Kanu be remanded in Kuje prison. Mr. Tsoho adjourned the case to January 29th 2016 to hear Nnamdi Kanu’s bail application.
29th January 2016: The most corrupt judge in Nigeria, John Tsoho, justice of the federal high court, Abuja, turned down the bail request by Nnamdi Kanu, accusing him of being a national threat to Nigeria, even before hearing the case just few days after Buhari made same statement live on Aljazeera Tv. Nnoruka Udechukwu, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), urged the court to release him, stating that the offence he was alleged to have committed was a bailable one. Udechukwu also argued that the Criminal Justice Act, 2015, stipulated bail for anyone not accused of a capital offence.
19th February 2016: The Court turned down the request by the federal government, to allow it’s witnesses wear masks during the trial of Nnamdi Kanu.
Read also:Biafra: Witch-hunting Justice Ademola Will Not Stop Ecowas Court From Passing The Right Judgement In Kanu's Case--IPOB Tells Buhari
7th March 2016: Justice John Tsoho ruled against his pronouncements he made on February 19th, when he refused masking of the witnesses or barring members of the public from the trial. The judge also ordered the use of non-public routes and rest rooms by the witnesses.
8th March 2016: Chuks Muoma (SAN) appealed against the ruling of the court which was filed same day and the motion for stay was filed March 9.
9th March 2016: Justice John Tsoho adjourned hearing after the prosecuting Counsel, Mr. Mohammed Diri, indicated interest to oppose the motion filed by Kanu’s defence team on 8th March 2016.
25th March 2016: Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s defence lawyer, approached the Appeal Court to strike out the rulings of Justice John Tsoho of the FCT Court, citing him as been biased against the backdrop of his refusal to grant his client bail; emphasizing the reversal of his previous ruling against masked witnesses and then prayed the court to reassign the case to another competent judge.
Read also:Biafra: Julie Ward (MEP) Calls For The Release Of Nnamdi Kanu At The European Parliament
15th April 2016: The defense counsel prayed the appellate court to order the Chief Judge of the FCT Court to reassign their case file to another judge to take up the defendant's trial since it is clear that Justice Tsoho has been compromised.
26th April 2016: The trial judge, John Tsoho, ruled that the application did not follow due process and was not based on the facts of the case. He said he would continue to hear the case on a day-to-day basis until higher court orders a stay.
25th May 2016: The Court of Appeal ruled against the application filed before it by the detained leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, through his legal defence counsels and refused him bail.
20th June 2016: S. Labaran, the prosecution counsel, sought for another case adjournment as he argued that he will need more time before he can respond to the motion that was served by the defence that morning, leading to another adjournment.
23rd September 2016: Biafrans protested worldwide and observed a sit-at-home protest across Biafra land demanding the unconditional release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Read also:Breaking: Nigerian Judiciary Under Attack As Buhari Orders DSS' Invasion Of Judges' Houses: Kidnaps Justice Ademola For Ordering The Release Of Nnamdi Kanu
26th SEPTEMBER 2016: Being under probe by the National Judicial Council, NJC, for bail denial and abuse of court process as accused by Kanu’s defence team. Justice Tsoho nervously hands off Nnamdi Kanu’s case, noting that even if he is later cleared by the NJC of the allegations, he does not wish to continue with the case. He thereby returned the case file to the Chief of Justice.
4th October 2016: Julie Ward, Member of the European Parliament, at the Parliament, called for the immediate and safe release of Nnamdi Kanu, as well as his co-defendants: Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.
5th October 2016: The Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) fined Nigeria the sum of one million naira for failing to show up for Nnamdi Kanu’s case and as compensation to Kanu’s lawyer. Justice Micah Wright, the presiding judge of ECOWAS adjourned the case to 8th November 2016, stressing that he will hear and give final judgment on Kanu’s case in the next court session (8th November 2016) with or without the presence of the Nigerian government’s defence lawyer.
Read also:JUST IN!!! We Are Back To The1984 Jackboot System And Era Of Anarchy With Buhari In Aso Rock: All Lawyers Must Boycott The Court--Says Lagos Based Lawyer
As much as history can tell and in the bid to restore the ancient city of Biafra since 1967, Biafrans have never attracted the attention of the world as it is doing now. Yes, Nnamdi Kanu must have done a lot by reawakening the consciousness of Biafrans to this course; but his arrest gave it the required thrust.
Even as much as Ojukwu achieved, Biafra flag was never flown publicly and with a sense of national pride on Nigerian streets. It is already on record that Biafrans raised their flags in Abuja and Lagos on 1st December 2015 and 16th December 2015 respectively. Since Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest, Biafrans have protested at Onitsha, Aba, Port Harcourt, Bayelsa, Enugu, Ebonyi, Nkpor, Nnewi, Asaba, and several other cities in demand of his release.
In a bid to stop protesters, the Nigerian military has killed over one thousand and wounded over six thousand. To this regards, Amnesty International, AI, had on December 2015 (in her annual report), 10th June 2016, 26th August 2016, 18th September 2016, 21st September 2016 and 28th September 2016, indicted the Nigeria Security Operatives of killings, torture and gross abuse of human rights against peaceful and unarmed Biafran agitators.
Read also:BIAFRA: NIGERIA LOSES GRIP ON NNAMDI KANU AS ECOWAS TAKES OVER CASE
Prof. Charles Soludo, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, best described the current situation that is overwhelming the Nigerian government when he said, ‘’Nnamdi Kanu threw a bait and Nigeria took it. Today, he is the most popular political prisoner and will end up either as a hero or a martyr. But to his credit, he has forced Nigeria and the world to discuss Biafra.’’
If Nnamdi Kanu’s case is not timely and well handled, it might destabilize the entire coast of West Africa whose dependence on Nigeria’s economy is hugely significant. In a case of war, United Nations and all ‘’Refugees’’ organizations will be overwhelmed with the number of both injured and displaced persons.
The mistake has been made, the damage has been done; but if Nigeria still intends to redeem her image internationally and be able to discuss issues of human rights without any sense of guilt, Nnamdi Kanu must be immediately and unconditionally released. This will be the first step to further talks on the future of Biafra and Nigeria.
If Nigeria intends to end the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (pending dialogue), if it is serious in coming out of recession; if it intends to be able to fund IDP camps in Borno and bring relief to starving children in Northern Nigeria, then Nnamdi Kanu must be released first.
Read also:BIAFRA: FROM PERSECUTING BIAFRANS TO JUDGES; DICTATOR BUHARI SLEEPWALKS TO ICC’S NET
Prof. Charles Soludo warned, ‘’ I believe that keeping this young man is dangerous, he should be released and released like yesterday. If I were the president Buhari, I will be very suspicious of anyone who advices me to ignore the Biafra issue. Anybody who says that is either ignorant, or being mischievous or quite patently, does not mean well for the government of Nigeria.’’
It will also be necessary for Nigerians and their allies to do away with the impression that Biafrans can be intimidated or crushed to an extent of stopping the agitation for Biafra. Chudi Offodile, in his book ‘’The Politics Of Biafra’’ said: ‘’The lesson to be learnt if anyone cares to listen is that the detention of Nnamdi Kanu, no matter how long will not stop the agitation of Biafra.’’
Chudi further noted that ‘’it is the ‘Biafra or Death’ philosophy of Nnamdi Kanu that found resonance across the length and breadth of the Igbo nation. Therefore, there cannot be a resolution of the Biafra ‘dilemma’ without the wholesome engagement of the Nnamdi Kanu/Uche Mefor faction of IPOB.’’
As Wole Soyinka rightly said, ‘’Biafra is an idea which cannot be defeated with guns and prison bars.’’
God bless Nnamdi Kanu.
God bless Biafra.
Written By Chinedu Ewulu
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers.