From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Lawyers practicing in Anambra State have warned the Federal Government against the consequences of disobeying the recent United Nations’ (UN) demand to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from the detention.
UN had recently demanded that Kanu be released from the detention unconditionally as according to the world body, Kanu is only seeking the independence of his Biafran people and as such his action has not yet warranted such an unlawful detention.
However, the Federal Government is yet to heed the UN’s demand at the moment as Kanu is still languishing inside Department of State Services (DSS) custody, even as government has never made any categorical affirmative or non-affirmative statement to that effect.
Three lawyers, including Clifford Iloegbune Okoye, Maurice Efobi and Sam Chukwukelu, who spoke to Daily Sun in Onitsha in separate interviews on the development, said Nigerian government should not dismiss the UN’s statement with ignominy the same way they disobey or disregard orders from Nigerian courts and go scot free.
Okoye, a one-time chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Aguata branch in Anambra State, said: “I want to thank the UN for lending its voice to Nigeria’s internal affairs as a member-nation under it and Nigeria should be a country where freedom of speech and expression are observed.”
Although that UN declaration is only persuasive and not compulsive, but being a global strong voice having spoken, has a method of enforcing their actions against any deviant nation under it,” Okoye said.
On his part, Efobi, who was also a former chairman of NBA, Idemili branch, said: “Nigeria subscribed to the League of Nations and we are bound to follow any decision taken by the UN. Therefore, we have other option than to obey the umbrella body.”
Chukwukelu, also a chairman emeritus of the Idemili branch of NBA, said the court which refused to grant Kanu bail recently, should have considered the fact that if Kanu had not escaped alive when the military invaded his house, he would have probably been dead by now and if he had died, he wouldn’t have been alive today to face trial because it is only the living that can face trial not a dead person.