By Tim Tochukwu
For Biafra Choice Writers
Nigeria, the contraption that sullies and despoils everything it touches is at it again. This time around, it is attempting to contaminate an international legal institution, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court, which many have confirmed to be doing a good job in the sub-region.
Nigerian government is known to have so discredited its Judiciary, through the bribing and intimidation of judges and the disrespect it has shown to court orders and judgments, that many people have lost faith in the Judiciary. Even though this sullying of the Judiciary dates back to the independence days, the current president, Muhammadu Buhari, has taken it to so much ignoble height that few people are willing to stomach it any longer.
The stunts and shenanigans of government that led to the situation are many. For example, whenever Nigerian government finds it difficult to easily manipulate judges or have watertight cases against citizens degraded; it usually stays away from courts under flimsy excuses. That is why in Nigeria, detention centres are littered with people awaiting trial, who had stayed 15 to 20 years in detention without trial.
The government stays away from cases on purpose just to prolong the cases and in the process frustrates the opponents and judges. In the end, it is either the accused person and his/her defence team agree to the terms of government on the case or the detainee dies in prison cell. So with this type of stunt and shenanigan, governments succeeded in making the Nigerian Judiciary the mockery and laughing stock it is today. That is the intention of Buhari’s government when it refused to attend court during the last session, claiming that it had another trial to attend in Kaduna.
Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s current President has taken the destruction of the Judiciary to an all-time-high level. This explains why many persecuted citizens started taking their cases to the ECOWAS court. The people believed it would be difficult for Buhari to manipulate the ECOWAS Court the way he has been manipulating the Nigerian Judiciary, either through stunts and shenanigans or through outright intimidation.
This piece becomes necessary because Buhari and his Gestapo, the State Security Service (DSS) have concluded plans to repeat what they did during the last trial at the ECOWAS Court. This time around, they have fixed the initial case against Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on November 8, the same day that his appeal was fixed at the ECOWAS Court. It is stunt to stay away from the court.
That was what they did on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, when they stayed away from the case. It was a case of violation of his human rights since September 2015, which Kanu filed against the Nigerian government. Thrice the courts had ordered for Kanu’s release, thrice Buhari has refused to release him. Even though Nigerian government was informed of the impending case for weeks, yet they did not make any effort to inform the court of anything that would hinder their appearing in court. Instead, they waited until that morning to send a letter to the court; claiming they were occupied with another case taking place in Kaduna.
Without doubt, Buhari’s government has now internationalized Nigerian penchant for disdaining the Judiciary. It performed this same act last year when it refused to appear in a court case between one of its agents in a United States of America court against Biafrans protesting against him at the Whitehouse.
With this knowledge of Buhari’s sullying of the Judiciary in mind, we look forward to what he will do this November 8, whether he will respect the ECOWAS Court this time around or dishonor it as usual.