(By Aloysius Attah – ONITSHA)
A civil society group the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has kick-started an international appeal aimed at securing freedom for the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, who has been incarcerated since 14th, October 2015.
The group in an open letter signed by its Board of Trustees Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi and Obianuju Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law program addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations, President of the UN General Assembly, the UN Special Rapporteurs on Truth, Justice and Reparation, and other world bodies pointed out that the ongoing 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, with President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance, presents a golden opportunity for the world bodies to act on what the group called “the regime atrocities of the Buhari admistration”.
The petition reads:
“Our writing your highly respected personalities is generally centred on the ongoing persecution of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and other victims of regime atrocities by the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari. It is shocking to inform your highly respected personalities that till date, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is not standing trial in any known court in Nigeria.“He has been detained without trial for a period of eleven (11) months or since 14th of October 2015. The circumstances under which he is held are unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional and an aberration to modern international human rights and justice norms.”
Intersociety also informed world leaders that Mr. Nnamdi Kanu who has been detained for eleven months having been arrested on 14th of October 2015 by “Nigeria’s Secret Police by name DSS (Department of State Security) is treated sub-humanly.
The group made the following demands from the world leaders:
“At all times, manually and electronically, advise and task President Muhammadu Buhari on modern workings of democracy, human rights and rule of law.“Investigate and condemn all forms of human rights abuse particularly unprovoked attacks and killing of unarmed citizens, criminalization and stigmatization of rights to freedom of association, peaceful assemblies and freedom of expression; and reckless use of State violence in public governance approaches.“Task him to preserve and protect at all times the sanctity and independence of the Judiciary and the National Assembly as well.
“Task President Buhari to publicly renounce his abominable pronouncement made on 30th of December 2015 during his maiden Presidential Chat; upon which the Judiciary has been frightened and become terrified to the extent of conducting its proceedings (i.e. Hon Justice John Tsoho in Nnamdi Kanu’s Case) according to the dictates or whims and caprices of the President.“Urge President Muhammadu Buhari to steer clear of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s ongoing Court Case and allow a level ground for the accused and his accusers (Buhari’s Presidency) to proof their cases.“Allow constitutionalism to be strictly followed in Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s Case including the need for the proceedings or proposed trial to be conducted in the open court in accordance with Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011, as well as the ICCPR and the ACHPR Treaty Laws.“Urge President Muhammadu Buhari to end his obvious meddlesomeness in Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s Case and the Judiciary and direct his Attorney General to prove the Federal Government’s allegation that Citizen Nnamdi Kanu is a treasonable felon or an insurrectionist; or withdraw the bogus charges against him for want of evidence.
“Urge President Muhammadu Buhari to produce publicly dead or alive the Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who was shot and battered and detained incommunicado since December 14th 2015; a period of nine months or 270 days.“Urge President Muhammdu Buhari to refrain from making further mockery of the rule of law and citizens’ constitutional liberties by arresting and clamping citizens into detention for over three months without trial; contrary to Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011.“Urge Mr. President to end his clamp down, indiscriminate arrest and long detention without trial of Pro Biafra activists across Nigeria or any part thereof, particularly members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and release all their members languishing in various DSS cells across the country without trial.“Urge President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reverse himself concerning his violence prone style of governance particularly his anti human rights stance, divisive and sectional governance as well as his policies of militarization and militarism.”
The Open Letter was addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations; President of the United Nations General Assembly; President of the United Nations Security Council; United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Truth, Justice and Reparation, Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatments or Punishments. Others are The Honourable British Prime Minister and Distinguished British Parliamentarians; Distinguished European Union Leaders; President of the United States and Distinguished US Congressmen and Women; Distinguished Canadian Leaders and Parliamentarians; Other Internationally Distinguished Personalities: Human Rights Activists and Groups, Former Heads of UN Bodies The Sun