The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday called on the Federal Government to prosecute court cases against its members or free them from the various detention facilities across the country. In a statement made available to journalists in Awka by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group said the missing case file of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, at the Appeal Court as well as the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government towards all court matters in the country involving IPOB only show government’s unwilling stance at pursuing the cases.
The statement said: “With ongoing moves by Nigerian government to frustrate, through frivolous applications and adjournments, all pending cases involving IPOB in various courts within and outside Nigeria, we think that the time has come for the (President Muhammadu) Buhari regime to release those held illegally in detention centres and prisons across the country. “It is unheard of in the history of the world that a government is seen to be running from its own courts and afraid of legal processes it instituted against a group it labelled a terrorist organisation. “Normally a terrorist group or unlawful society would not want to undergo public legal scrutiny, but in the case of IPOB, we have offered and have taken the Buhari’s regime to court to prove that we are a peaceful organisation pursuing our inalienable right to selfdetermination.
“This Buhari administration is yet to convince the world in an open court of law which part of IPOB right to self determination as presently exercised is in breach of any known law of the land. “Indeed, it is the Buhari regime that is behaving like a terrorist by failing to appear and doing everything it can to frustrate and delay ongoing cases. “Since over two years of bringing charges and amended charges against its leader, Kanu, alongside Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Chidiebere Onwudiwe, and numerous other Biafrans detained across Nigeria on charges of treasonable felony and conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Directorate of State Service (DSS), have not produced a single evidence or material witness to substantiate their allegations that IPOB activities were in any way illegal.” IPOB further maintained that each court appearance has rather been turned into a drama session by the prosecution who would either pressurise Justice Binta Nyako to adjourn on a flimsy excuse or they simply amend the charge so the case will start afresh.
The group called on the AGF to as a matter of urgency stop the ongoing persecution of IPOB because the more security operatives continue to arrest, detain, charge and adjourn and postpone cases at will, the more they make themselves the laughing stock of the legal world. Continuing, the statement read: “This abuse of court process has been sanctioned by the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) because of its failure to provide adequate protection for judges handling IPOB cases from the intimidation of DSS and other government agencies. “For example, EFCC has conveniently arranged for the ongoing corruption case against the husband and son of Justice Binta Nyako, the presiding judge, to be heard in the same court building and on the same date she hears IPOB cases.
“This is a way of pressuring her to lean towards government directive on the path the case should take or else her husband and son will be convicted.” IPOB, however, noted that till date, the Federal Government had consistently failed to produce a single witness to testify on its behalf or corroborate its wild accusations against it.