Chris Steven, Abuja
Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB)has called on Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo to restraint from extra judicial comments capable of distorting his ongoing trial.
While making a particular reference to the comment by Osinbajo during a meeting with Igbo Council of Traditional Rulers, that the agitation for Biafra is unconstitutional, he described the remarks as undue interference with judicial process.
Speaking through Ifeanyi Ejiofor, his lead counsel who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Kanu reminded the Acting President that his present political trial originated from legitimate exercise of his constitutionally guaranteed rights to self determination as clearly provided for under extant Laws, and International Instruments/Covenants.
He said “It is therefore reasonably expected that any of such extra judicial remarks, should not emanate from the revered office of the Acting President.
He argued that Osinbajo made comment in direct response to Quite Notice threats and ultimatum handed down to Igbos living in the Northern part of the counter, by Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, which he described as a faceless and uninformed group.
According to him, unhealthy interference by the Executive Arm in the matter before the Court, vide pronouncements capable of putting fears in the court is an indication that the matter is drifting into the narrative that had hitherto kept him in unlawful incarceration for 18 months, in clear breach of positive orders of Court that directed for his unconditional release.
He said , “We observed most respectfully that the Learned Silk made this remark in direct response to Quit Notice threats and ultimatum handed down to Igbos living in the Northern part of the counter, by a faceless and uninformed group, going by the name of AREWA YOUTHS CONSULTATIVE FORUM”.
“But it must be noted very humbly that it is a mistake to equate the Lawful and legitimate aspirations and agitations for Biafra with the unlawful, illegal and illegitimate Quit Notice, and threat given to the Igbo People to leave the North by this group.
We submit most humbly that the right to self determination, recognizable under various Instruments which Nigeria is a State Party is clearly provided for under Article 20(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) (Act Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990. This Law provides thus: Article 20(1) “All peoples shall have 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”.
He stressed that the press conference was necessitated by what he called some misplaced narratives in the public domain, which according to him, amount to extra-judicial declarations and pronouncement, by the Executive arm of the Government.
“We would have ordinarily shelved this briefing for a number of reasons, but for the compelling need to address some misplaced narratives in the public domain, particularly, seeming resort to extra-judicial declarations and pronouncement, by the Executive arm of the Government, which we viewed with serious contempt, as such offensive opinions emanating from the Complainant has the capability of distorting the pendulum in our Client’s criminal trial”, he said
Ejiofor who insisted that Kanu never breached any of the bail conditions attached to his bail said the bail terms were ostensibly stringent, and in clear contradiction to specific rights provided under chapter 4 of the Constitution.
Noting that undeserved publicity has been given to the possibility that Kanu might have been flouting some of the bail conditions, he said the legal team has filed a formal application to vacate ‘some of these offending terms and conditions contained in the order, which are manifestly unconstitutional and obviously impossible’.
“Bail is a constitutional right with or without any condition. Our Client has not been found guilty of any of the offences preferred against him. The essence of bail is to ensure the regular attendance of the Citizen in Court to stand his trial. It is the Law that bail condition must not be excessive, so that it will not amount to denial of same” he said