From: Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has warned Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to refrain from making provocative and unacceptable comments pertaining to his trial before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
Kanu said he considered such remarks by the Acting President as a clear case of undue interference with judicial process capable of distorting the mindset of the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako.
Kanu’s position was contained in a press statement issued, in Abuja, by his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, on the dislodgment of the concocted charge brought against him and others.
He made specific reference to the comment allegedly made by the Acting President in his presentation before the Igbo Council of Traditional Rulers, that the agitation for Biafra is unconstitutional as it offends section 2 of the 1999 constitution, 2011 [as amended].
In addition, Kanu also referred to the consequent threat of arrest and imprisonment of those that exercises their unquestionable and inalienable rights to self determination.
‘This declaration is respectfully considered as not only provocative, and unacceptable, but a clear case of undue interference with judicial process, which have the capacity of distorting the mindset of the judicial officer seized of our client’s case.
‘It is important to remind the Acting President that our client’s present political trial originated from his legitimate exercise of his constitutionally guaranteed rights to self determination as clearly provided for under extant laws, and International Instruments/Conventions.
‘It is therefore reasonably expected that any of such extra judicial remarks, should not emanate from the revered office of the Acting President,’ the statement reads.
Kanu further observed that Osinbajo made the remark in direct response to the quit notice threats and ultimatum handed down to the Igbo living in the Northern part of the country, by ‘a faceless and uninformed group, going by the name of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum.’
He, however, noted that it was a mistake to equate the lawful and legitimate aspirations for Biafra with the unlawful, illegal and illegitimate quit notice, and threat given to the Igbo People to leave the North by this group.
Insisting that the right to self determination is recognizable under various laws, Kanu’s lawyer submitted that the declaration by the Acting President that Biafra agitation is unconstitutional, ‘is with due respect patently misconceived and inherently faulty.’
‘It is on this note that we most respectfully call on the Acting President to be more circumspect in his further remarks as it relates to a substantive charge before the court. There is need for total restraint, from comments, pronouncements and declarations that have the effect of distorting the pendulum, one way or the other, particularly on this phantom criminal charge,’ the statement warned.
While accusing the Federal government of double standards, Ejiofor observed that no case of treasonable felony has been pressed against Arewa Youths in the face of its unwholesome and wicked declaration.
Meanwhile, Kanu has called on the Federal government to immediately withdraw the five-count amended charge preferred against him and other pro-Biafra agitators including Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie.
He further demanded that they should be set free without further delay as the amended charge which contained baseless allegations is a ploy by the Federal government for their continued detention.