Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Sunday, sent a SAVE-OUR-SOUL message to the Supreme Court of Nigeria by hearing this week, the case concerning the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, rather than the adjourned date of September 14, 2023.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said a definitive hearing of the Federal Government’s appeal against Nnamdi Kanu in an extremely urgent fashion will save the South-East geopolitical zone from total implosion. HURIWA said since politicians in the central government are insensitive to the continuous killings of people of South East Region due to the prolonged detention of Nnamdi Kanu, it behoves on the Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to salvage the situation by granting expeditious hearing to Nnamdi Kanu.
The group said the five governors of the South-East are urged to mount massive pressure on the Federal Government to push for the release of Nnamdi Kanu and for President Tinubu to speak to the government of Finland to stop elements who are using its territory to forment trouble and instigate killings through enforcement of illegal sit-at-home orders every Monday. HURIWA frowns against the use of coercion to compel residents of South East not to comply to the illegal sit-at-home orders but to opt for consultation and persuasion to get the acceptance of the people and businesses in the South East to reject the incessant sit-at-home orders.
Specifically, on October 13, 2022, the Court of Appeal acceded to Kanu’s request by dismissing seven counts, and order his release from the custody of the Department of State Services.
The appellate court based its decision on its finding that the extraordinary rendition mode of returning Kanu to Nigeria breached both local and international laws.
The Federal Government under the immediate past President subsequently challenged the decision of the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court. The five-member panel of Justices led by John Okoro in May deferred the hearing of the case till September 14, 2023.
In a statement on Sunday, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The Supreme Court of Nigeria should reverse the long adjournment it gave for definitive hearing of the Federal Government’s appeal against Nnamdi Kanu’s and hear the matter even on Tuesday this Week to save the South East from total implosion and destruction.
“The delay in deciding the time-wasting appeal against the well -considered verdict of the Appellate Court is one amongst the fundamental factors for the gradual crumbling of South-East’s economic life and security of lives and property for two years now.
“HURIWA conducted opinion poll in the five South-East states and majority of respondents are of the opinion that deciding the matter at the Supreme Court expeditious and the eventual freeing of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has the highest possibility to checkmate and minimise if not totally eliminate the threats of illegal sit-at-home orders which armed groups and individuals are enforcing in a bloody way and the members of the security forces are also quelling the enforcement by summarily executing the enforcers of sit-at-home orders and even completely innocent Igbo youths.
“We also warn against the use of coercion on traders and businesses to reopen and disobey the illegal Monday sit-at-home order but South Eastern states should mount pressure on President Bola Tinubu to adopt diplomatic means including severance of ties to force Finland to stop their citizen and the Nigerian born Simon Ekpa from dishing out the instructions which lead to bloody enforcement by his armed loyalists in the South East.
“South East governors should persuade the people of South East to reject the orders whilst security forces should use intelligence to deter forceful enforcement and killings rather than resort to outright extrajudicial execution of people under the guise of stopping the sit-at-home enforcement. On no account should armed security forces working to end the enforcement of the illegal sit-at-home orders, resort to extrajudicial execution of the so-called enforcers except the life of the operatives of the security forces are under imminent danger in compliance to the well known rules of engagements in any internal security operation by members of the Armed forces and police of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.