Friday 14 October, 2016
The rule of law and constitutionalism have finally been nailed to the coffin in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari. Throughout the history of democracy, rule of law and constitutionalism in Nigeria, be they parliamentary or presidential, Nigeria had never experienced the kind of insult, mockery, humiliation and bastardization it presently experiences under the leadership of Retired Major-General Muhammadu Buhari.
Human rights records of the present administration are also negatively alarming, shocking and deafening. All the third generations of human rights civil, political, economic, socio-cultural, environmental and community rights are observed in gross breach by the Buhari administration.
The Nigerian judiciary under his watch is no longer the bastion of democracy and last hope of the common man. It is now a leprous arm of government being mocked and cajoled from left, right and center. A civilian government that makes mockery of and disobeys the rule of law and constitutionalism is worst than a mad man running amok with a sharp dagger in a crowded marketplace.
Nnamdi Kanu is today made a prisoner of conscience by Muhammadu Buhari and his DSS footsoldiers.
This day, October 14, 2015 at Lagos state Nigeria, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was extra-judiciary detained by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, on his way back to Biafra land from his London base over what they termed “hate speech,” allegedly being preached on the radio station.
President Buhari and his DSS had since Nnamdi Kanu was incarcerated flouted and gravely disobeyed two express and consequential orders of the Wuse Zone 2 Magistrate Court and the Federal High Court, Abuja Division bordering on Nnamdi Kanu’s constitutional rights to personal liberty, association, assembly, dignity of human life and freedom of expression.
Click To Read- Biafra: Nnamdi Kanu's One Year In Prison Inflames Biafra Agitation, While Nigeria Shall Remain In Bondage
It is still fresh in our memory that on 19th October 2015, Justice Shuaibu Usman of the Wuse Zone 2 Magistrate Court in Abuja granted conditional bail to Nnamdi Kanu and on the 22nd of October same year, all the bail conditions were fully meted, but the DSS refused to release him on bail, claiming it was acting based on personal directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Magistrate Court's order for Kanu's bail was followed by two other consequential orders, which were also flagrantly neglected by the same DSS. On 18th November 2015, the DSS told the Abuja Magistrate Court that it had on 10th November 2015 secured an exparte order from the Federal High Court, Abuja Division to detain Nnamdi Kanu for ninety days for the purpose of investigating him for terrorism.
On 17th December 2015, the same Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola struck out and dismissed the DSS fraudulently and unconstitutionally obtained 90 days detention order and directed for the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu.
The DSS again, flouted the order and introduced delay gimmicks attached with rigid conditions, to frustrate the signing of final discharge papers at the Federal High Court that would have allowed Kanu to go home same day. IPOB and the entire populace was puzzled and shocked to observe that 24hours after the DSS’ brazen resort to delay tactics and stringent conditions, they are yet to release Kanu, contrary to the order of the Federal High Court. They rather surfaced again on 18th December 2015 with further delay gimmicks, claiming that its Director-General must be present and personally sign Kanu’s administrative release order. Incredible!
When all these delay tactics were going on, it was gathered that President Buhari reportedly called and opposed his release, directing that the prisoner of conscience Nnamdi Kanu must sign an undertaking pact, renouncing the Biafra agitation, as a condition for his compliance with the court order, failure of which he would remain detained in the DSS custody and be slammed with fresh false charges of “treason.”
It was on the ground of the insistence of Kanu’s lawyers that the order of the Federal High Court must be obeyed and enforced to the letter that the DSS refused to release him, stressing that he is being held on suspicion of commission of "treasonable felony". Kanu’s lawyers, family members, his friends and supporters who were present on that fateful day spent over 14 hours, from 10am till after midnight, waiting for his release as was ordered by the court, all to no avail. All was futile.
For the purposes of clarification, the term “Treasonable Felony” is defined by Section 41 of the Criminal Code as follows: "To remove during his term of office otherwise than by constitutional means, the president as Head of State of the Federation and Commander in Chief of the armed forces, or to likewise remove during this terms of office the governor of a state or to levy war against one's government in order to put any force or compel the president to change his measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon, or conspire to intimidate or instigate any foreigner to make any armed invasion of Nigeria or any of the territories thereof. The manifestation of such intention by an act is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life”.
Under section 43 of the same Criminal Code, “a person cannot be tried for treas on, treasonable felony or concealment for treason, unless the prosecution is commenced within two years after the offense is committed".
Sequel to the detention of the IPOB leader, Biafra protesters has being brutalized, wounded and abducted. Thousands of innocent Biafra protesters demanding for the release of Nnamdi Kanu have lost their lives in cold blood on the hands of the Nigerian security forces who without mercy released live bullets to the defenseless protesters on numerous occasions "on the command of the African Hitler Muhammadu Buhari".
During the space of one year of Kanu's illegal detention, the Nigerian state has never remained the same. It has suffered serious financial downturn which has landed it in worst economic recession. Foreign investors had deserted and terminated all the contract they had with Nigeria. The rate of dollar exchange has climaxed, fuel hike keeps going up, plagues had visited 12 villages in Sokoto state, the cost of living is extremely increasing, workers are not paid salaries, the prices of food stuffs in the country has nosedived, etc.
Consequently, freedom fighters in the mold of Niger Delta Avengers further helped to zero-in on the Nigerian economy with their persistent explosion of oil installations in Nigeria hence if their demands to release Nnamdi Kanu by Buhari's administration is not fulfilled.
All these avalanche of problems facing Nigeria could be traced on the words of Nnamdi Kanu on one of his Live broadcasts on Radio Biafra when he stated thus "Somalia will be better than Nigeria if they failed to give us what we asked for which is Biafra's independence" and it's now manifesting true or false?
Read This Too- Biafra: Witch-hunting Justice Ademola Will Not Stop Ecowas Court From Passing The Right Judgement In Kanu's Case--IPOB Tells Buhari
Buhari is still head bent regardless of these troubles facing Nigeria because he is adamant to let the "prisoner of conscience, Nnamdi Kanu go". Just like Pharoah in the Bible who refused to acknowledge the voice of the most high God to let his people, the Israelites go. What happened to Pharoah at last is what Muhammadu Buhari should ask himself if his medulla is still functioning.
Lovers of freedom, Human rights organizations have ordered for the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu. One of such notable personalities is Julie Ward MP of the EU Parliament who recently on 4th October spoke against the unlawful incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu and other co-accused advising Buhari to obey the rule of law as well as the Constitution of Nigeria. Yet all these was ignored by Hitler Buhari, rather he swore to crush Biafra agitators and vowed never to free Nnamdi Kanu.
It is pertinent to observe that bail is the right of an accused person, once it is not a homicide charge, to enable him to prepare for his defence, which is his constitutional right. If a court grants an accused person bail, the order should be complied with as disobedience to court order is injurious to the smooth running of the administration of justice and erodes the rule of law, which is a necessary part and parcel of any democratic society to avert anarchy.
Nnamdi Kanu had spent "one year" in Nigerian prison even when courts had ruled and he has not been found guilty. The Indigenous People of Biafra maintained a peaceful request in the pursuit for Biafra self-determination. They had maintained a peaceful protest all over the world over the unlawful incarceration of their leader Nnamdi Kanu, deploying every peaceful move for his release yet they were taken for granted.
The Nigerian government and the entire world should know that IPOB's disposition to due process and respect to the rule of law should never be seen as weakness. There is limit to which we can take. That IPOB kept mute to allow the law of the good and innocent prevail over Kanu's case doesn't portray cowardice.
The Biafra/Nigeria civil war that started like a joke raged on for about three years and sent many innocent people, running into millions, to despair and sorrow. Hundreds of thousands of the Biafran people went on a journey of no return to their maker.
Many more lost their limbs and other vital parts of their body. Others parted ways with all their hard-earned possessions. Some still carry the scars of war till this day, more than 45 years after the war ended.
The government of Buhari is about to pour petrol and explosives into the towering inferno by reacting angrily to a battle that can never be nipped. Nigeria's roof is on fire and the owners of the house should not sleep and snore lest they get badly burnt.
Nnamdi Kanu must be freed else Nigeria will ceased to exist. let no one treat or dismiss this 21st century BIAFRA controversy as humbug or treat the resolve of Biafrans with levity because it has the potential of spiralling out of control and snowballing into an unprecedented conflagration of unquenchable propensities. A word I believe is enough for the wise.