The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) on Wednesday asked the Federal Government to drop the criminal charges it leveled against its leader, Nnamdi Kanu and other pro-Biafra agitators pending before various courts in the country.
Kanu and his co-defendants, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie, are standing trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged treasonable felony.
The legal team of IPOB led by Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor made the demand while addressing journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ejiofor read a press statement on behalf of other lawyers in the defence team, faulting what he termed Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s “extra judicial remarks” during his meeting with Igbo Council of Traditional Rulers, wherein
Osinbajo allegedly said that “the agitation for Biafra is unconstitutional”.
He pointed out that the Acting President’s extra-judicial comment was capable of putting “fears” in the judge handling the suit.
The legal team declared that Kanu and other pro-Biafra agitators’ ordeal is “political trial”, which emanated from their constitutionally guaranteed rights to self-determination as provided for under extant laws and international conventions.
Ejiofor said: “We demand that the five-count charge preferred against our clients: Nnamdi Kanu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie be immediately withdrawn and the defendants freed without further ado, as they have committed no offence known to law, and particularly premised on the ground that the Federal Government of Nigeria has bluntly refused to open her case on the criminal charge preferred against our clients.
“The 2nd and 4th defendants cannot continue to be detained on the strength of the frivolous and concocted charges, in breach of their statutory guaranteed rights as clearly encapsulated under Chapter 4 of the Constitution.
“That Bright Chimezie, who was ordered to be released by an order made on May 24, 2017 by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, be released immediately without further ado and in compliance with the positive orders of the court.”
On the ultimatum given by the Arewa Youth Forum to Igbo in the North to quit by October 1, Ejiofor described it as “wicked” and a clear case of “treasonable felony” staring the Federal Government in the
The Federal Government had on June 22, 2017, served IPOB lawyers with amended information on the five-count charge which was preferred against Kanu and his co-defendants.
The IPOB legal team declared that the amendment to the charge was effected in clear breach and violation of the order made by the court on April 25, 2017, wherein the trial judge, Justice Binta Murtala Nyako, warned against further interlocutory applications or processes which might delay.