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Being sensitive of other sides of the polygon in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s trial

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By Orji Jeff

My evaluation, guestimation and appraisement of President Muhammadu Buhari’s reaction and comments about the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in recent times reflects a perception and discernment that he is yet to grasp the fact that his government in the first instance is involved in a kidnap case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu which makes it illegal to try the leader of IPOB. He sounds as if all have become uhuru for his administration in this saga. Let us quote the president:

“…there is one institution that I wouldn’t dare interfere with. That is the judiciary. Kanu’s case is with the judiciary, but what I wonder is, when Kanu was safely in Europe abusing this administration and mentioning so many things, I never thought really he’d want to come and defend himself of the accusations against him. So we are giving him an opportunity to defend himself in our system, not to be abusing us from Europe, as if he’s not a Nigerian. Let him come here voluntarily with us. Nigerians know that I don’t interfere with the judiciary. Let him be listened to…those who are saying he should be released….No, we cannot release him“.
Even when he was asked on Channel TV if there is prospects of a political solution? The President miscontruid the question and stated contradictorily “No…there is the possibility of a political solution. If they behave themselves (a reference to IPOB apologists), all well and good. You can’t go to a foreign country and keep on sending incorrect economic and security problem against your country and thinking you’ll never have to account for what you’ve been doing. Let him account for what he has been doing“.

As far as am concerned, the federal government of Nigeria has no genuine case at the moment with the IPOD leader because he was abducted in the first place.The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, was kidnapped and brought back into the country in July last year by Nigeria’s security agencies in conjunction with their counterpart in Kenya. The legal implication here is that the court lacks jurisdiction to continue his trial; stemming from the fact that he was not properly and legally extradited into the country.

Great kudos to Aloy Ejimakor who raised the doctrine of Extra-Ordinary Rendition as a barrier to the jurisdiction of the court to continue the trial of the IPOB leader in line with international practices. Rendition, in legal term, implies the transfer of a person (fugitive) from one jurisdiction to another. In the case of what is usually called “rendition,” the procedure involves the legal handing over (or back) a person to another jurisdiction with better rights or jurisdiction to try him. Rendition is in itself legal and within the confines of the law. Extra-ordinary Rendition occurs outside of the confines of the law. Rendition operates within the rule of law; but extraordinary rendition falls outside. Rendition brings suspects to federal or state court; extraordinary rendition does not. Extra-Ordinary Rendition is the transfer, without formal charges, trial, or court approval, of a person…to a foreign nation for imprisonment and interrogation on behalf of the transferring nation.

Be it as it may,  I am among those who are of the school of thought that President Muhammadu Buhari’s having seen the critical situation on ground and against the backdrop that his administration has not struck much economic recovery point for the Southeast would have taken the option of political solution to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu but unfortunately as expected he has failed oncemore to impress the generality of the large population of South East. It had nothing to do with not wanting to interfere with proceedings of the judiciary because so many  Nigerian leaders  have taken such advantage because the Constitution empowers same. If not for any other thing, the visit of the Eastern leaders ably led Ike Ekweremadu to the president would have been the catalyst to quicken the reaction. Oh Yes! They went to appeal to the president for the release of Nnamdi Kanu on the ground of political solution owing to the deep crisis in the South East due to the detained IPOB leader.

As a matter of fact, those eastern leaders occupy important political positions in Nigeria and are answerable to their constituencies. Consequently, no one should expect them to fold their hands while their land is in total disarray, chaos, ataxia and absolute clutter.

However, I know as you know that such negotiation will be on concessionary and gambit grounds which I believe, must consist of Mazi Kanu agreeing to jettison the IPOB project, while the Federal Government reinstates commitment to squarely attain to the socio-political issues causing squabbles and agitations in the South East. The question is will this president react in that direction? If he does, it will appear to be a win-win resolution. And from all indications, if he takes advantage of the rare scenario, it could increase his popularity and rewrite lots of dents on his score card and attract international recognitions and laurels for him. But if not the crisis might proberbly degenerate into national emergency.

In another development, I wish to encourage members of IPOB who seem to have grown lukewarm since Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s abduction in 2021 to rather remain resolute in the struggle because IPOB is not only the struggle for the liberation of Biafra but also the liberation of other ethnic nationalities that have not been fairly treated by the Nigerian uthopian project. As a matter of fact, it is important we understand the historical position in the struggle against bad government and absolute segregation in Nigerian political and economic system.

I totally agree with one writer who wrote thus, “IPOB must wake up! IPOB is not just another self-determination group; neither is its existence an ordinary fluke: its existence embodies the compelling contradiction between actuality and potentiality in Nigeria. Its self-determination thrust is both a categorical imperative and a catalytic symbol of revolutionary consciousness for Southerners. The self-determination struggle of IPOB, whether it is aware of this or not, represents the material disillusionment and revolutionary goal of not only the Igbos but the entire Southern Nigeria and the oppressed people in the Middle-Belt. Its historical mission, which it must fully embrace if the revolutionary goal must be attained, is anarchistic in scope and exigent in force.”

Continuing, he said,”the phoney trial of Nnamdi Kanu, as a hitherto misapprehended but almost always a persecuted revolutionary, is neither a trial of IPOB nor the Igbos only, it is a trial of the entire Southern Nigeria. We must, therefore, note that the diminishing rage of IPOB is simply a revolutionary suicide that cannot and must not be allowed by the Igbos and Southerners in general.”

Definitely, a parent that said his children will not sleep will equally get no sleep. Believe it or not, the situation is biting hard on everyone especially in Nigeria. I can candidly echo and re-echo that the 1914 amalgamation has not done Nigerians any good. No thanks to bad leadership which has grinded Nigeria to a near comatose. It might interest you, that recently, a suit was filed by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) seeking a referendum to determine the fate of Biafra and other self-determination agitation groups in the country and the case has been heard by the Federal High Court in Abuja. And giving an update, Justice Inyang Ekwo, said some parties, who sought to join the suit, were yet to serve the plaintiff a notice and adjourned the case till May 20.

Are you thinking what am thinking? The last has not been heard in this matter. I only pray justice prevails.