Case adjourned till Nov 8
From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), yesterday, raised the alarm over alleged plot by the Federal Government to frustrate the case of its leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court.
The group said the case instituted case against the Federal Government and Department of State Services (DSS) ,at ECOWAS Court, over the illegal detention of its leader, Kanu was supposed to come up yesterday (October 5, 2016), but the Federal Government refused to appear in court.
The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful, in a statement, said the refusal of the Federal Government and DSS to appear in court was a plot to prolong and frustrate the case as it has done in Nigerian courts.
According to Powerful: “We want to state that Nigeria government, security agents and All Progressive Congress[APC], have ran out of facts in the case concerning our leader, Nnamdi Kanu. It is unfortunate that the Federal Government and APC cannot come to defend the illegal detention of our leader.
“It was a nervous moment for the Federal Government today at the Community Court Of Justice, ECOWAS Abuja, as the court ignored every threat from the Nigerian government to conduct a hearing on Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB case which has suffered an unending trial at the Nigerian judiciary.
“Kanu’s defence team led by Ifeanyi Ejiofor arrived the court at exactly 10:00am while the three-man panel of judges led by Justice Friday Nwoke from the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice arrived at about 10:10am. Ejiofor introduced himself to the judges after which the court clerk called up the case,” he stated.
“The Nigerian government was found to be on the run as the defence lawyer to the Federal Government submitted a motion for his absence just few hours before court proceedings, claiming that he has a case today in Kaduna.”
The spokesperson noted that Kanu’s lawyer Ejiofor objected to this, pointing out that he met him just yesterday at the court, while he accused the Nigerian government of plans to further prolong Kanu’s case.
He quoted the presiding judge, Justice Nwoke as saying the court case in Kaduna was not enough reason for their absence in court, stressing that if the Federal Government’s representative failed to appear in the next court session, he (Justice Nwoke) will go ahead to give judgment in the case between Nnamdi Kanu and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has adjourned the case to November 8.
The presiding judge, Justice Micah Wright, adjourned the case to the new date for definite hearing following an application by the defendant.
Wright, however, declined the request for cost by the applicant.
The Federal Government, that was absent, had written to the court to adjourn the case because it had conflicting case in another court.
But, counsel to the plaintiff, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, opposed the application for adjournment and requested a cost of N1 million.
Kanu, a Director of Radio Biafra and leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, sued the Federal Government for alleged illegal detention.
Joined in the suit were the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS).
Kanu, in the suit, is asking for a compensation of 800 million dollars for the violation of his human rights and an order directing his unconditional release and that of his personal belongings.
He also urged the court to direct the defendants to respect, protect and promote his rights to life, liberty, freedom of movement, assembly and expression.
The plaintiff prayed the court to declare that his arrest and detention since October 14, 2015 by the defendant was in flagrant disobedience to several orders of courts of competent jurisdiction.
He also prayed the court to declare that his continued detention was a violation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the United Nations Charter of 1970. The Sun