Public Enlightenment Series - #2
SIMPLIFYING THE SECOND CHARGE BROUGHT AGAINST MAZI NNAMDI KANU BY BUHARI’S DSS
We have decided to reserve all the questions we have for the agents of the Department of State Services (DSS) until we exhaustively explained the three charges fraudulently brought against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Let us now look at the second charge brought against Nnamdi Kanu which read thus:
“That you, Nnamdi Kanu and others, now at large, between 2012 and September, 2015 at South-East geo-political zone and the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court manage an unlawful society with more than 10 members to wit: unregistered with the Corporate Affairs Commission or any other registration authority to wit. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) thereby committed an offence which is punishable under Section 63 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
Now, we publish verbatim, the referenced section-63 of CAP C38 as well as the preceding section-62 which defines UNLAWFUL SOCIETY:
CAP C38 CHAPTER 9 Unlawful societies
62. Definition of society and unlawful society.
(1) A society includes any combination of ten or more persons whether the society be known by any name or not.
(2) A society is an unlawful society-
(i) if formed for any of the following purposes-
(a) levying war or encouraging or assisting any person to levy war on the Government or the inhabitants of any part of Nigeria; or
(b) killing or injuring or encouraging the killing or injuring of any person; or
(c) destroying or injuring or encouraging the destruction or injuring of any property; or
(d) subverting or promoting the subversion of the Government or of its officials; or
(e) committing or inciting to acts of violence or intimidation; or
(f) interfering with, or resisting, or encouraging interference with or resistance to the administration of the law; or
(g) disturbing or encouraging the disturbance of peace and order in any part of Nigeria; or
(ii) if declared by an order of the President to be a society dangerous to the good government of Nigeria or of any part thereof.
62A. Unlawful societies in a State. Without prejudice to the provisions of section 62 of this code, a society is an unlawful society if it is declared by an order of the President to be a society dangerous to the good government of Nigeria or of any part thereof, and for such purpose the consent of the Attorney-General of the Federation referred to in section 65 of this code shall be construed as a reference to the consent of the Attorney-General of the State.
63. Managing an unlawful society.
Any person who manages or assists in the management of an unlawful society is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
Having cited the charges and the accompanying laws, let us now explain the charges in its simplest form as follows:
1) That the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a society.
2) That the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) being a society ought to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (possibly referring to CAP C20 L.F.N. 2004) or any other registering authority in Nigeria.
3) That the Indigenous People of Biafra is an unlawful society but no attempt is made to specify the condition(s) stipulated in section-62(2) that qualify IPOB to be classified as an unlawful society.
4) That although the DSS does not know the total membership of the unlawful society (IPOB) but they are are very certain that the members are more than ten [atleast that will satisfy section-62(1)].
5) That Nnamdi Kanu and an indeterminate number of persons whom the DSS don’t even know are the actual people managing an unlawful society (in this case IPOB).
6) That these “unknown persons“ are “at-large“, meaning they could even be on the moon or under the seabed.
7) That Nnamdi Kanu and these “unknown persons“ are managing the unlawful society (IPOB) within the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria only (no other region was mentioned in the charge sheet).
That Nnamdi Kanu and these “unknown persons“ have been managing this unlawful society (IPOB) from
2012 (no date and no month) to September (no date) 2015.
9) That Nnamdi Kanu and these “unknown persons“ have committed the offence of a felony by managing unlawful society (IPOB) and should be punished on conviction for a prison term of 7 years as stipulated in section-63.
Please note that the charge sheet did not specify which of the condition(s) stipulated in section-62(2) that qualified IPOB as an unlawful society. Probably, the DSS lawyers are keeping that information up their sleeves for the legal arguments in the court.
As stated earlier, we shall ask our questions after explaining the third charge.
Barrister Emma Nmezu
Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya
Spokespersons for IPOB