A civil rights group, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA), on Wednesday protested the refusal of the bail application filed by the detained leader of the now proscribed INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the trial judge. The group noted that the decision is a predictable outcome but nevertheless tragic in dimensions. HURIWA, therefore, declared that “unless Nigeria brings in a European judge with special waiver to entertain the case instituted by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration against IPOB, and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, it is impracticable for any Nigerian judge to deliver justice and fairness to the Prisoner of Conscience.”
HURIWA alleged that the current administration has committed colossal funds and human resources, including alleged bribery of foreign governments and organisations to adopt adversarial positions against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, just as the Rights group said locally, “the government has succeeded in using divide and rule tactics to brainwash the hoi-polloi in the Moslem North to perceive IPOB or Ndigbo as enemies of the Fulanis. The group reiterated: “so, it will take either a European judge or an unusual judicial miracle for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to obtain fair hearing as provided for in a plethora of Constitutional provisions because for President Muhammadu Buhari and his allies, NNAMDI KANU and IPOB are guilty until they prove themselves to the contrary and the judge agrees.”
HURIWA said the massive media propaganda by government against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, including the deployment of Hausa services of international radio stations to paint Nnamdi Kanu as a hater of Fulani, will make it difficult for any judge wishing to be elevated to grant fairness to the defendants.
The group argued that it is only someone apparently hibernating somewhere in the outer space that doesn’t know that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu could have been assassinated by invading armed security forces that flooded his father’s house not long ago whereby Nnamdi Kanu was spending time on bail by Justice Binta Murtallah-Nyako of the Federal High Court whereby over two dozens of his relatives were extrajudicially murdered by the State, it is therefore, preposterous for anyone talk less a very learned jurist to begin to demand explanation from a man who ran for his dear life why he never stayed back so he is gunned down so as to continue to enjoy bail. “Is it not the living that enjoys Court’s bail and if Nnamdi Kanu did not find a way of escaping from the massive scale of military attacks and he died in the process of the unprovoked attacks, will Justice Nyako then go to Heaven to find out how the man is enjoying the ‘bail’,” HURIWA protested.
HURIWA lamented that the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, rejected the bail application of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, on what can be termed groundless and grotesque basis.
The Rights group appealed to the Chief executive of the Nigerian Judicial System, who is the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria, to work out a modality to grant a waiver to a judge from the European Court of Human Rights to adjudicate inside of Nigeria on the matter between President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, if Justice is what everyone is after because as it is, the Nation’s judicial system is hijacked by the Executive arm of government beginning from even how the President masterminded the illegal removal of the then substantive Chief justice of Nigeria in favour of the current holder who is also a kinsman of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Rights group recalled that the presiding judge, a Fulani born Justice Binta Nyako ruled that Nnamdi Kanu will remain in custody pending the determination of the treasonable felony charge preferred against him by the Federal Government.
Justice Nyako held that Kanu must explain the reason why he breached the previous bail that was given to him before he could enjoy another favourable discretion from the court. “Until the issue of absence of the defendant for his trial, with all the bail conditions breached, is determined, the instant application of the defendant for bail will at best be premature and it is refused.
“However, the defendant is at liberty to refile the application”, Justice Nyako held.
HURIWA recalled that the court noted that Kanu’s trial had since 2015, suffered various setbacks owing to over 19 interlocutory applications that have been filed in the matter. The judge, therefore, implored the parties to allow the case to proceed on trial to enable the charge to be determined, one way or the other.
HURIWA recalled that Nnamdi Kanu had in the application he filed pursuant to sections 6(6) and 36(5) and (6) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as sections 161, 162, 163 and 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, prayed the court to release him on bail, pending by determination of the charge against him.He equally prayed the court to order the Department of State Services, DSS, to produce the medical report of the defendant who is currently in its custody.Kanu, told the court that he was severely tortured for eight days in Kenya, before he was repatriated back to Nigeria for continuation of his trial. He alleged that his health condition deteriorated, following “a highly poisonous substance” he said was injected into his system, which he said is causing him to have constipation and increased heart beat.”
Reacting to the decision of the Judge, the Rights group said as it is with the way Nigeria is structured in such a way that elevation in the judiciary is not by competency or merit but by political consideration, it will take only a very courageous judge to entertain and grant fair hearing to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in this instant case in which the Federal Attorney General and minister of Justice, the Special media aides of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Information had consistently bombarded the local and international airwaves and media space with half baked propaganda demonising both Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who has been in detention since he was abducted by the current administration in collaboration withthe Kenyan government of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Nairobi Kenya.
HURIWA said in addition, that coupled with the active political capture of the judiciary by President Muhammadu Buhari, it will take a bold judge in Nigeria and they are not more than two at the moment to hear the case of Nnamdi Kanu and not capitulate to the threats, pressure of the executive arm of government.
The Rights group said only a political solution by way of unconditionally release of the detainee by the President or the appointment and temporary licensing of a European judge to entertain the matter that most right thinking persons can say the judiciary will deliver justice without fear of molestation or threats of physical attacks by forces embedded in the All Progressives Congress led Federal Government.
HURIWA is appealing to all the groups in the Southeast to end the campaign of violence in the South-East which is causing a lot of bloodshed and destruction of strategic infrastructural facilities built with the public funds belonging to the good people of Igboland.