From Okwe Obi, Abuja
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has adjourned hearing of case filed by the Coalition of Northern Group (CNG) on Biafra referendum to January 27, 2023.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who presided over the matter yesterday, granted all the motions to allow interested parties to be joined in the suit.
CNG, had in June 2021 dragged the National Assembly and the Attorney-General of the Federation to court, asking it to compel the defendants to halt the ongoing constitutional review exercise and conduct a referendum to determine the fate of Biafra agitators.
CNG’s Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, who briefed journalists on the outcome of the matter in Abuja, said: “We feel the suit has suffered too many adjustments. It has been dragging for about a year now without commencing hearing. But the delays are about process.
“The suit is developing into an interesting national issue and we are confident the result would put all agitations to rest.
“We are assured by the requests coming by parties seeking to be joined as defendants in the case.
“This testifies to the fact that after all, we at CNG have taken the necessary decision by taking this legal option for the resolution of the lingering crisis of trust that appears to be overwhelming all other previous options.
“We are are also confident that in the end the court, a temple of justice, would dispense justice appropriately in the interest of the future of Nigeria.”
But Counsel to CNG, Barr Sufiyanu Gambo, said the Court had adjourned to 27 January for taking all the application to enable the plaintiff respond appropriately.
Gambo said: “We amended all our processes directed by the court and as order parties are equally joined for defendant which is senate, National Assembly and Attorney General, so about 16 parties were added and then between last hearing and today.
“There are a lot of people who have filed the application to joined and we are unable to certain some of them because we only see them in court introducing their application to have filed to joined and because we don’t have the processes”.
However, the Council to Ibom Nation People Movement, Barr Adesina Oke, who applied to join the application, disclosed that his clients s were also interested in self-determination.
He said: “It important people should express themselves that is why is very very imperative for us to join this suite because the court move that you can’t prevent people from matter that is interested to them. We want to be identified on our own, we are different culture and we different people”.
In addition, Lead counsel for the Igbo Nation, Victor Onweremadu, said: “When this suite was instituted, I was purely against it from the beginning, the plaintiff asked the five Eastern States to exist from this country that is the genesis of this suit.
“You can see that is creating a wild fire under the ethnicity across the country and they are now applying to be join the suite, in the last adjournment Igbo filed application to join on the suite and we are properly joined.
“One important lesson we should learned from this is that, Nigeria is living on the keg of powder, because many Nigerians are not happy that is why they don’t believe in one Nigeria.”