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Why There Will Be No Nnamdi Kanu Trial On Monday – Lawyer; as IPoB vows to defy FG

IPOB Threatens South-East Governors, Monarchs, Politicians For Keeping Silent Over Police Killings In Region

Aloy Ejimakor, legal counsel for Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has said that what Nigerians should expect on Monday at the Federal High Court in Abuja “is not a trial but what lawyers call ‘taking a plea'”.

 

Ejimakor revealed this in an exclusive interview with SaharaReporters on Sunday while speaking about his expectations regarding Kanu’s trial, which is expected to commence on Monday.

 

The legal practitioner also stated the Nigerian 1999 Constitution provides for self-determination and also the right to life, adding that the Nigerian government will have no choice but to dialogue with the pro-Biafra separatist leader.

 

He, however, appealed to the supporters of the detained IPOB leader not to flout the provisions of the rule of law as they plan to storm Abuja to show solidarity with Kanu.

 

 


Kanu will resume his trial suspended in 2017 at a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, bordering on charges of terrorism, treasonable felony, illegal possession of arms, among others levelled against him by the Nigerian government.

Why There Will Be No Nnamdi Kanu Trial On Monday - Lawyer; as IPoB vows to defy FG
Why There Will Be No Nnamdi Kanu Trial On Monday – Lawyer

He has been in the detention of the Department of State Services (DSS) since he was abducted in Kenya and extradited to Nigeria, after his brief appearance before Justice Binta Nyako on June 30.

 

Speaking on what to expect, Ejimakor said, “My message to all supporters of self-determination and even to the Nigerian government is simple and that is: Everybody should be guided by the rule of law pertinent to why Nnamdi Kanu is facing these tribulations.

 

“That pertinent rule of law is clearly stated at CAP A9, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, where it is stated at Article 20 that: All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.

 

“Above is the fulcrum of every other crime the Nigerian government is alleging against Kanu. Therefore, once the government recognises that what is driving Kanu is recognised or protected by the laws of Nigeria, it will see that the only option is to pursue the path of dialogue, instead of this fruitless trial of Kanu or the levying of violence against IPOB members.

 

 


“I am saying this because the same law that legalises self-determination also requires the federal government to accommodate it. Article 1 of that law provides that Nigeria ‘shall recognise the rights, duties, and freedoms enshrined in the Charter and shall undertake to adopt legislative or other measures to give effect to them.’

 

The lawyer also stated that he expects to be ironed out, the application against Kanu’s transfer from the custody of the secret police to prison custody for him to have better medical care.

 

“What is expected on Monday is not a trial but what lawyers call ‘taking a plea’. But going by what the Attorney General (Abubakar Malami) has been saying, there is a real prospect of a re-arraignment on the amended charges that may be brought.

 

“Should that happen, the most natural reaction is to take an adjournment to study the new charges and advise the defendant on how to plea. In such an event, the court is expected to use the opportunity to dispose of any interlocutory applications that are pending.

 

“In this case, the application expected to be disposed of is the one concerning the transfer of Kanu from DSS custody to prison custody where it is hoped that better medical care and social contact will be available to him,” Ejimakor said.

 

IPoB vows to defy FG

Ahead of Monday, 26th July court appearance by the detained leader of IPoB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the self-determination group, has vowed to attend the trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

 

 


The organisation said its members and other similar bodies would shut down the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, in solidarity with Kanu.

 

This followed a warning that IPoB members shouldn’t be seen at the premises during the trial.

 

The Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, had, in a statement, warned members of IPoB to stay away from the court sitting. He also pointed out that Kanu’s lawyers would be allowed around the court premises on the trial day. It was added that branded IPoB T-shirts or caps would not be allowed.

 

Kanu faces an 11-count charge of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms, but Sunday Vanguard learned that fresh charges may be filed against him when the trial resumes.

 

However, in defiance of the warning against appearing in court, spokesman for IPoB, Mr. Emma Powerful, in an exclusive chat with Sunday Vanguard said members of the secessionist group have every right to be in court tomorrow.

 

Right

He added that IPoB members would be peaceful and orderly when they converge on Abuja.

 

His words: “Yes, it is confirmed by our legal counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, that the court will sit on 26th of July, 2021. The federal government of Nigeria has no right to stop IPOB or Biafrans from coming to Abuja to witness the court proceedings or to show solidarity to our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Nigeria government cannot beat a child and force him or her not to cry. IPOB has every right to be in court on that day.

 

“Anybody who doesn’t want to go to court is free to do so but Mallami and Federal Government of Nigeria have no powers or rights to stop anybody from going to Abuja. One thing they forget is that it’s not about Nnamdi Kanu, it’s about Biafra. The issue of Biafra agitation has since gone beyond Nnamdi Kanu. It’s now an unstoppable mass movement.

 

Afraid

“The truth is that not just IPOB members but thousands of Biafrans and their sympathizers will flood Abuja on Monday to show solidarity to our leader, Nnamdi Kanu. He is only a freedom fighter and Nigeria cannot stop people from identifying with him.

 

 


“So, if they want to shoot or kill people they should prepare very well because they will have enough to kill or arrest. We are not afraid and can’t be afraid at this point of our journey when our freedom is at the threshold. We can’t abandon our leader. The only thing is that we shall be very civil, organized and peaceful but we can’t be cowed. The world will see how they kill innocent citizens that day in Abuja.

 

Malami

“The kind of support to be expected from IPOB is moral support. The world will see that Nnamdi Kanu is not alone in the struggle for Biafra autonomy. Kanu is representing and fighting for the oppressed indigenous nationalities in Nigeria. Apart from Biafrans, our Oduduwa and Middle Belt brothers and sisters including the good and oppressed people of Southern Kaduna shall be on the ground to show solidarity to our leader. Abuja shall be locked down on Monday because lovers of freedom from across the country shall be on the ground to encourage the icon of freedom, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

 

“The threat by the federal government that people should not come to the court cannot work. Mallami speaks like one who does not know the law that guides human rights and the rule of law.

 

Charges

“We are not bothered about their trumped-up charges against Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB but the truth must surely come out. IPOB is out to expose Nigeria and its evil collaborators. Whatever charge they like, let them bring. Our leader is innocent of all their fabricated charges and we have a very formidable legal team to deal with that.

“The world is watching and will monitor the court proceedings and the entire events on Monday. IPOB and Biafrans on that day will be peaceful but nobody has the right to stop us from coming to Abuja. IPOB members are advised to restrain from behaving in an unruly manner or causing crisis in Abuja. We are not happy about the kidnap of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu but we won’t cause any problem in Abuja or anywhere.”

 

Kanu, Igboho

On the trial of Kanu and Igboho taking place almost at the same time, he said: “Yes, that is to show you that Nigeria is already jittery over the new but very strong relationship between Biafra and our Oduduwa brothers. Our corrupt and selfish political elite have been our problem over the years but now the youths have woken up. We are resolute about our march for independence and nobody can stop us.

 

“So, Kanu and Sunday Ighoho have been the greatest nightmare of the federal government of Nigeria. That’s why they want both men confined to a prison or eliminated but they won’t succeed in their evil plot.

 

“The time they kidnapped Nnamdi Kanu was the same period they tried to repatriate Sunday Igboho from Benin Republic but the court has not been doing their bidding.

 

 


“What is happening to Kanu and Igboho is an indication that Nigeria will give birth to two nations – Biafra and Oduduwa in one day. The people of Biafra Republic and Oduduwa Republic must not capitulate because God Almighty Chukwu Okike Abiama will destroy Nigeria and the two countries will get their freedom.

 

“These two heroes coming to defend themselves in the court the same day shows that our relationship is divine. They can do whatever they like to create confusion and enmity between the two brothers but they will fail completely.

 

They are surprised about the alliance between Oduduwa nation and Biafra nation. They are doing a lot to destroy the relationship between the two of them but God has always frustrated them. They are in shock seeing Biafra and Oduduwa making headway. The two nations are coming.”

 

Ohanaeze delegation

Meanwhile, in fulfilment of its plan to monitor the trial, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has appointed Third Republic governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, as the head of its delegation to the trial.

 

According to Professor George Obiozor-led Ohanaeze, the National Legal Adviser, Joseph Ozobu, and Chief Goddy Uwazurike, would be the lawyers representing the group.

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