Home Point Blank Failing to grant Nnamdi Kanu bail is another injustice against South East

Failing to grant Nnamdi Kanu bail is another injustice against South East


By Jeff Orji

It is has become a visatile knowledge for Nigerians and international community that the arrest and extradition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB from Kenya to Nigeria absolutely contravenes international laws. Not minding the twisting of laws by the federal government of Nigeria what really played out is extraordinary rendition and violation of the most basic principles of the rule of law. Mazi Kanu was unlawfully arrested in Kenya, detained and was subsequently subjected to extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria where he is still being detained and tried.

So many notable Nigerians were vivid and candid in their submissions on this matter right from inception. Prof. Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Laureate winner and a human rights activist stated that Nnamdi Kanu was kidnapped by the federal government of Nigeria, emphasising that it is wrong. Speaking with BBC Pidgin in an exclusive interview published on July 5, Soyinka said there would be an uproar in the country if the truth of how Kanu was arrested becomes known. “It’s not for me to tell the president to prepare himself because it’s going to be a huge squawk when the truth about how Kanu was arrested comes out. However you look at it, what they did is wrong internationally and morally” he said.

The noble laurate wondered why the federal government has not shown the same eagerness in going after bandits and insurgents. “Miyetti Allah should have been arrested years ago, long before IPOB was declared a terrorist organisation. Miyetti Allah group has continued to act unchecked while the federal government has refused to mount the same energy against them. So, people are right to say there has been an unequal and irregular approach to security and enforcement in this nation,” he added. And from all ramifications, you will agree with me that things have fallen apart since one year that this extra-judicial rendition took place.

For over one year, it has been charges and counter charges even when it is clear that the federal government lacks jurisdiction of trial of the IPOD leader. Funny enough the court kept on strucking out the count charges on the grounds that the proof of evidence did not link Kanu to the charges. What we keep hearing is, “I have read the counts and counts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 14 have not disclosed any offense against the defendant but Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15 shows some allegations. The court shall proceed to try the defendant on those counts,” Then in the next session they will drop those ones and establish new counts. The courts are busy with their counts while the South East is being destroyed. Everyone who understands the volume of chaos and anrchy this has generated so far expects the federal government to be more deplomatic in handling this situation especially as his administration is counting down.

Moreso, I join my voice with other millions of Nigerians across the globe to blame the continued detention of Kanu on the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to exercise his constitutional power over the issue. There was no justification for Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja to refuse the bail application filed by the counsel to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. It is really unfair for the generality of the south Easterners. Granting him bail would have been an opportunity to find a solution to issues of agitation in the South East region. Instead Justice Nyako, in her ruling, held that she would not grant bail to Kanu, who is standing treasonable charges brought against him by the Federal Government, because the circumstances of his jumping bail when he was first granted bail were unclear. This decision is obviously going to bring about more evil wind in a geometric progression. Come to think of it, the judge did not put into consideration the circumstances under which Nnamdi Kanu fled the country as his life was threatened consistently. How can the judge said she did not know the circumstances under which Nnamdi Kanu jumped bail. She is supposed to be better informed than that. Everyone knew that the men of the Nigerian Army invaded his home and this was well reported and documented. So it’s ridiculous to say that she failed to understand the circumstances under which Kanu jumped bail.

Let’s pulse a little on the president desk to ask few questions. Does it mean that the presidency is happy with what is happening in South East today? Does is it mean that he is not bothered? I think, the president should be advised to issue a nolli prosequi to release Nnamdi Kanu so that the pandamonium in the South East will ameliorate to a bearest minimum. If the president can pardon those who stole our money, as we saw in Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyako, granted pardon to Niger Delta militants and even rehabilitated them; granted amnesty to some Boko Haram members and absorbed them into the Nigerian army and police, I don’t see why he can not order the release of Nnamdi Kanu to demonstrate good faith and his interest in seeing that peace returns to the country.
Be that as it may, It will be in the best interest of the nation if the presidency should anchor on the recent plea of the the Association of South East Town Unions, ASETU, also known as Igbo Town Unions, to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to their custody, promising to produce him anytime he is needed and at any location. They equally prayed that President Buhari should forget the logic and legality of their request and heed their request, noting that Kanu’s continued detention has brought more insecurity to the country. The Igbo communities cited instances such as in the Niger Delta and North East areas where dialogue and compromise resolved problems of insecurity in the regions other than the use of legalities. ASETU made the plea in an open letter to President Buhari after an emergency Extra-Ordinary National Caucus meeting in Awka, Anambra State recently.

In conclusion, it is Paramount to re-inform the Department of State Services to exercise serious caution in their cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on Nnamdi Kanu as he remain in their custody. Let them be a aware that the United Nations who once issued a document is still watching. We could recall that in that document, the UN said it received information on allegations of enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, torture, and ill-treatment of Nnamdi Kanu by Kenyan Security Officials, as well as his illegal rendition to Nigeria to face trial for terrorism-related charges, which were believed to be linked to his leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
“We are further alarmed by the alleged torture and ill-treatment Mr Kanu has been subjected to during his detention by the DSS in Nigeria. If confirmed, these allegations would constitute prima facie violations of fundamental human rights, including the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of liberty and the absolute and non-derogable prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights” it concluded.

As a matter of fact, aside the United nations so many other international organizations have their satellites on this matter. And it is on this premise that the Nigerian government should begin to imagine what will happen if anything go wrong with Nnamdi Kanu while in that detention.