A group, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA), has protested that the dispensation of criminal justice in the country is twisted and organised in such a way that one set of Nigerians from Southern Nigeria are treated as outcast whereas the others from the Northern Muslim extraction are treated as sacred cows.
The group carpeted the judiciary for refusing to grant bail to the detained leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, facing trial over nebulous charges of abusing President Muhammadu Buhari on the radio but granting bail to public office holders accused of stealing N109 billion off public coffers. “It would seem that large scale corruption as alleged by the EFCC against these erstwhile highly placed federal government officials means nothing to the judiciary only because the accused are of the right tribal and religious group, but on the other hand even when the United Nations has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to free Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the President has remained adamant and the Nigerian court seemed determined to follow the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari to keep Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in an indefinite detention against the plethora of provisions of the Constitution including section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution that recognises Nnamdi Kanu to be innocent in the eye of the law until proven guilty by the competent court of lawful jurisdiction,” the group argued.
HURIWA expressed shock and consternation that whereas few days before Justice Zainab Murtala Nyako delivered a ruling on the bail application by Nnamdi Kanu, President Muhammadu Buhari had expressed his opposition to it which was followed with the refusal by the Federal High Court, Abuja, of same bail plea by Nnamdi Kanu but an Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama, on Wednesday, granted bail to Ahmed Idris, former Accountant-General of the Federation, AGF, and two others over an alleged N109 billion fraud. HURIWA said the only reason for the disparity and discrimination is because the court system in Nigeria is not independent but is enslaved by the executive arm of government headed by the Fulani born President Muhammadu Buhari.
HURIWA recalled that other defendants in the matter also granted bail, were Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited. The court, in a ruling delivered by Justice Adeyemi Ajayi, adopted all the terms and conditions of the administrative bail the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, earlier gave the ex-AGF and his two co-defendants. In line with the due process and supremacy of the law, the defendants are still entitled to bail, irrespective of the enormity of the allegations against them.
HURIWA, however, recalled that Justice Murtala Nyako refused the bail application by the Igbo born British citizen, Nnamdi Kanu, who was kidnapped in Nairobi and flown back to Nigeria by security forces from Nigeria and Kenya because, according to the presiding judge, Nnamdi Kanu has not justified why he ran away from Nigeria when he was granted bail by the court two years ago, but HURIWA said unless someone who lived in another planet two years back, it was clear that the Army had invaded the home of the father of Nnamdi Kanu in Umuahia and killed over a dozen persons whilst searching to kill Nnamdi Kanu, but he managed to escape being killed and was later noticed to be abroad.
HURIWA wondered why the nation’s judiciary operates two sets of modus operandi by granting bail to persons who allegedly stole so much and then another citizen whose so- called offence was that he made inciting comments on his radio Biafra programmes from London, has been detained for a whole year by the government and backed by the Federal High Court only because he is Igbo from South East of Nigeria.