Since Nnamdi Kanu Believes In Nigeria’s Justice System Why Persecute Him – HURIWA Asks President Buhari’s Administration

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For the umpteenth time, the leading Civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order an end to the serial persecution of the prolonged detained and dehumanised leader of the now proscribed INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA(IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu over sundry charges that he is leading agitation for self determination and calling for a referendum on SELF GOVERNMENT for the Indigenous People of Biafra also known as the SOUTH EAST OF NIGERIA.

The Civil Society Organization HURIWA said if the President orders for an end to the unjust persecution of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu he, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will achieve a lasting end to the violence and needless killings of innocent Nigerians in the South East of Nigeria by persons pursuing different ideological interests including the majority angered by the unjust incarceration of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

HURIWA maintains that the otherwise very peaceful agitation for the convocation of a National Referendum by IPOB to determine which regions in Nigeria would opt for self determination in compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states in Article one the essence of self determination, does not amount to separatist tendencies. HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said countless number of prominent Nigerian scholars have made similar request and so it is illogical and irrational for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to persecute Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his many members of IPOB.

HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) faulted the charges framed against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu including the allegation of terrorism because in the belief of the Civil society group, the leader of the proscribed self determination group- INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA(IPOB) contrary to the wide spread innuendos and factually inaccurate charges that he is a rebel, the fact remains that going by the quantity of litigations filed by the person of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in the Nigerian Court System, it shows that this is a citizen who has abiding faith in the integrity and functionality of the Nigerian Court System and this is at variance with the accusations that he is a REBEL who has no regards for the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended which in section 6 recognises the Courts of competent jurisdiction as the entity exercising the judicial powers of the Federation.

HURIWA said the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra has so far instituted up to half a dozen of litigations seeking various redress of the grave abuses of his constitutionally guaranteed Civil, political and human rights as a citizen of both Nigeria and Great Britain within the legal framework of section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.

“This is certainly not the character of a rebel who seeks the disintegration of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and so keeping him perpetually in the dungeons of the Department of State Services amounts to egregious and grave violations of his fundamental human rights just as the Rights group has once more canvassed unconditional freedom for Nnamdi Kanu and thousands of other unjustly detained Igbo youths considered to be loyal to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). HURIWA said the continuous uprising in the South East is being stoked by the continuous illegal detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and thousands of his loyalists in different detention facilities.

HURIWA recalled that the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu has recently, lodged fresh suit before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, insisting that preventing him from wearing his native Igbo attire, Isi-Agu, for his ongoing trial, would amount to an infringement on his fundamental human rights.

Kanu, who is facing treasonable felony charge, in the suit he filed through one of his lawyers, Mr. Maxwell Opara, accused the Federal Government of subjecting him to discrimination based on his ethnic group, noting that other persons on trial were allowed to wear clothes of their choice without any form of inhibition.

The embattled IPOB leader argued that though he is currently a detainee, he is entitled to the enjoyment of his fundamental right to freedom from discrimination as guaranteed under Sections 42(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/482/2022, are the Director-General of the Department of State Services, the Department of State Services and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Specifically, Kanu, is praying the court to among other things, declare that; “notwithstanding that the Applicant is detained in the Respondent’s detention facility, the actions of the Respondents in constantly preventing and/or commanding the Applicant to desist from wearing the traditional Igbo attire (Isi-Agu) or other attires identical to the Igbo Ethnic group of Nigeria; even when no law in Nigeria forbids the Applicant from wearing same and more so when it is a notorious fact that other inmates from other ethnic groups wear their traditional clothes,, constitute a subjection of the Applicant to full-fledged discrimination by reason of his ethnic group or place of origin, thus a gross violation of the Applicant’s right to freedom from discrimination as guaranteed under Section 42(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“Declaration of this honourable court that, notwithstanding that the Applicant is detained in the Respondent’s detention facility, the actions of the Respondents, jointly and severally, in constantly refusing and/or preventing the Applicant from having a change of clothes or subjugating the Applicant to wearing one particular cloth against his will, both while within their detention facility or on days when he is to appear before the Federal High Court or other designated place/s for his trial, constitute a subjection of the Applicant to inhuman and degrading treatment, thus a gross violation of the Applicant’s right to dignity of human person as guaranteed under Sections 34(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Articles 5 African Charter on Human and Peoples rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act CAP A9 Vol. 1 LFN 2004.

“An order directing the Respondents, jointly and severally, to immediately allow the Applicant to have a change of clothes in their detention facility or at any time he appears in public for his trial.

“An order of this court directing the Respondents, jointly or severally, to allow the Applicant to start wearing any clothes of his choice, more so, to allow him to wear his traditional Igbo Attires(Isi-Agu) and/or other Igbo traditional attires of his choice.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents, their authorized agents by whatever name so called, from further disturbing or interfering with the rights of the Applicant to dignity of human person and freedom from discrimination or in any way infringing on the constitutional rights of the Applicant as guaranteed by law or from making any attempt capable of violating the Applicant’s rights as guaranteed under the Constitution”.

HURIWA faulted the hypocritical claims by President Muhammadu Buhari of the so called non interference in the affairs of the judiciary just as HURIWA said legally speaking the Federal Attorney-General can terminate an unjust persecution of a citizen such as the category of the active serial persecution of CITIZEN NNAMDI KANU and thousands of detained innocent Igbo youths accused of being separatists.

COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO
NATIONAL COORDINATOR
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
APRIL 17TH 2022

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