"We Have Made It Clear To Binta That Buhari Is The Guilty Felon And Not Nnamdi Kanu."--Barr Ejiofor
By Chukwuemeka Chimerue and
Anyikwa Cynthia Reporting From Abuja
12th January 2017
ABUJA— Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, today suspended the proposed Federal government’s secret trial of the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu pending the court’s determination of the “prima facie” suit filed by Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.
The court arrived at this decision in order to consider the competence of the charges levelled against the defendants by the Nigerian government and had slated it for ruling on Wednesday, February 10, 2017.
Barrister Ejiofor while objecting to the charges, described them as “empty, baseless, unfounded and lacks merit,” adding that in that circumstance, what the court is required to do when found that the poor evidence does not disclose primary specific identity, is to quash the charges and discharge and acquit the defendants.
Read also:Biafra: "We Have Been Romancing with FG In Kanu's Case, But It's Time To Take The Bull By the Horn...We Want All Charges Squashed"--Barr Ejiofor Tells Court
Ejiofor described Nnamdi Kanu as a freedom fighter who is merely exercising his inalienable right to self-determination clearly provided under Article 20 of the African Charter of Human and People’s Right and also recognized under Article 1 and 55 of the United Nations Charter which according to him, are sacrosanct.
Barrister Ejiofor also told the court that his client is not a threat to the incumbent government of Nigeria as the agitation was on course many years before the emergence of the current regime of President Muhammadu Buhari and as such, cannot translate to the government’s misconception of treasonable felony.
According to Ejiofor, “Nnamdi Kanu is a freedom fighter not a terrorist; unlike other coup plotters who took over power from the leadership of this country through violence.
“The offence for which Nnamdi Kanu is being tried is less than the 1983 coup d’etat which led to the enthronement of President Buhari as military Head of State. There’s no ingredients of treasonable felony found in the proof of evidence before this court.”
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Similarly, In his reaction, lawyer to the second defendant, Barrister Innocent Adoga who is representing Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe, told the court that there is no material evidence to the charges brought against his client.
Adoga said: “The courts are set up for justice and not for antics or window dressing; this particular defendant(Onwudiwe), ought not to have been brought here.”
The lawyer also accused the Nigerian security operatives, particularly the DSS, of illegally arresting members of IPOB who came to visit Kanu in prison.
“We can’t keep on arresting anyone who chants Biafra in public,” the lawyer said.
Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor was also able to establish before the court that IPOB is not an unlawful society contrary to the views of the Federal government, arguing that the group founded their existence from Section 40 of the Constitution which empowers people the right and freedom of association and assembly.
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He further argued that the activities of IPOB does not fall within the items specified under Section 62 of the CPL Act and as such, IPOB has the right to go about their normal meetings and activities so long as they operate within the confines of the constitutional provisions of the law.
Addressing Biafra Writers’ Correspondents after the hearing, Ejiofor disclosed that the intention of the Federal government was to conduct a secret trial of Nnamdi Kanu within a week and convict him but that the motion challenging the competency of the charges prevented this.
He said, “We have just taken an application challenging the competence of the charges which borders on the poor evidence of the charge.
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“Our contention is based on the fact that the poor evidence attached to the charge, does not disclose the prima facie case against our client Nnamdi Kanu. There’s nothing attached to the charge which tends to establish a case of treasonable felony or conspiracy to commit treason, we have been able to highlight it before the court and it has taken note of that, which is to be decided on February 10, 2017.
“Nnamdi Kanu cannot be convicted for treason. I made it known to the court today that he is a freedom fighter. We have other people that committed treasonable felony in this country, people that plotted coup in 1983.
“Our president plotted coup and overthrew a democratically elected Nigerian government. Nnamdi Kanu is not planning to overthrow his government. He has not also committed any offence known to law.
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“Nnamdi Kanu and Biafrans are suffering today because of the grand design and conspiracy to suppress the aspirations of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
“I want them to base their arguments and decisions on law, whatever they are doing, let it be based on law. Time has gone when the court will subject itself to extra-provisional pronouncements. I mentioned it in court that the court cannot be binding by what somebody somewhere is dictating.
“We have many applications coming up but let’s hope that we get justice by the virtue of what we just filed today and I have been able to address the court effectively,” he added.
Ejiofor also announced that he had filed an application before the court for the release of those missing Biafrans who was abducted by the DSS when visiting Nnamdi Kanu in Kuje prison, urging the Nigerian secret police to release those people whether they are alive or dead as it is not in the law to detain people above the stipulated 48 days without taking them to court.
Chukwuemeka Chimerue and
Anyikwa Cynthia Reporting From Abuja.
Published by Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers