The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday knocked the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, for allegedly equating the IPOB group with the “faceless and uninformed” northern youths coalition, which issued a quit notice to the Igbo living in the North.
Kanu, who spoke in Abuja through his team of defence counsel led by Ifeanyi Ejiofor at a briefing, also accused the Federal Government of disrespecting court orders.
Kanu demanded that other detained IPOB leaders — Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie, be freed immediately.
He said, “With due reverence to the Acting President, and his rank as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, we deem it obligatory to state the correct position of the law as it relates to his faulty position.
“We observed most respectfully that the learned silk made this remark in direct response to the quit notice threats and ultimatum handed down to Igbo living in the northern part of the country, by a faceless and uninformed northern group.
“But it must be noted that it is a mistake to equate the lawful and legitimate aspirations and agitations for Biafra with the unlawful, illegal and illegitimate quit notice, and threat given to the Igbo people to leave the North by this group.
“We submit that the right to self-determination, recognisable under various instruments which Nigeria is a signatory to is clearly provided for under Article 20(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) ( Act Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.”
The lead counsel said the five counts preferred against the IPOB leaders must also be “immediately withdrawn.”
“Section 35(1)(4) (a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution is explicit on the maximum length of time that a citizen can be detained in custody either with order of court or without trial. This period is two months and Bright Chimezie has spent well over nine months in detention of the state without trial, more so when a court of competent jurisdiction has ordered the Department of State Services to release Chimezie.
“On the strength of the foregoing, we demand that the five counts preferred against our clients — Kanu, Onwudiwe, Madubugwu. Nwawuisi and Chimezie — be immediately withdrawn and the defendants freed without further ado.
“We demand that Chimezie, who was ordered to be released by the order made on May 24 by His Lordship, Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, be released immediately without further ado and in compliance with the positive orders of court.”