IPOB Leader, Kanu, Others Demand Unconditional Withdrawal of Charges Against Them

The leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has demanded that the charges against him be dropped.
He said he did nothing wrong in agitation for a Biafran state hence he should be set free unconstitutional by the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Kanu, and three others – the National Coordinator of IPOB, Chidiebere Onwudiwe; an IPOB member, Benjamin Madubugwu; and a former Field Maintenance Engineer on secondment to the MTN, David Nwawuisi – are currently standing trial at a Federal High Court, Abuja on five-count charge of conspiracy to commit treasonble felony, treasonable felony and publication of defamatory materials, among other charges.
In a press briefing in Abuja, Wednesday, Kanu maintained that he has done no wrong to be prosecuted.
In a statement by his lawyer,. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu insisted that “extra judicial remarks” Osinbajo made before the Igbo Council of Traditional Rulers, in reference to Biafran agitation, was offensive to section 2 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The statement read in part: “We are presently drifting into the narrative that had hitherto kept our client in unlawful incarceration for 18 months, in clear breach of positive orders of court that directed for his unconditional release. Unhealthy interference by the executive arm in the matter before the court, vide pronouncements capable of putting fears in the court is a case in point.
“This is evident in the recent extra judicial remarks by the Acting President, clearly contained in his presentation before the Igbo Council of Traditional Rulers, that the agitation for Biafra is unconstitutional as it offends section 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, 2011, and consequent threat of arrest and imprisonment of those that exercise their unquestionable and inalienable rights to self determination.
“This declaration is respectfully considered as not only provocative and unacceptable, but a clear case of undue interference with judicial process, which have the capacity of distorting the mindset of the judicial officer in charge of client’s case.
“It is important to remind the Acting President that our client’s present political trial originated from his legitimate exercise of his constitutionally guaranteed rights to self determination as clearly provided for under extant laws, and international instruments/covenants.
“It is, therefore, reasonably expected that any of such extra judicial remarks should not emanate from the revered office of the Acting President.
“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 quit notice threats and ultimatum handed down to Igbo living in the northern part of the country, by a faceless and uninformed group, going by the name of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum.
“But it must be noted very humbly 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 to leave the North by this group.
“We submit most humbly that the right to self determination, recognisable under various instruments, which Nigeria is a party 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.”
Besides, Ejiofor, who briefed newsmen alongside counsel to Kanu’s co-defendants, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie, accused the Federal Government of deliberately frustrating full-blown hearing on the treasonable felony charge against the defendants.
Consequently, Kanu and his co-defendants, demanded an immediate withdrawal of the amended five-count charge against them, saying they have not committed any offence that is known to law.
Some of the charges against Kanu and others read in part: “Conspiracy to commit treasonble felony contrary to section 516 of the Criminal Code act” by conspiring among themselves to broadcast on Radio Biafra “for states in the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones and other communities in Kogi and Benue states to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a view to constituting same into Republic of Biafra.”
The second count has to do with an allegation of treasonable felony which Kanu allegedly committed by broadcasting in London between 2014 and 2015 for the secession of Republic of Biafra from Nigeria.
The third count accused Kanu of “publication of defamatory matter contrary to section 375 of the Criminal Code Act” by referring to the then Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and now President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as “a pedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil” in a broadcast on Radio Biafra on April 28, 2015.
The fourth count accused Kanu of “improper importation of goods contrary to section 47(2)(a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act” by allegedly concealing a radio transmitter in a container of used household items and declaring the transmitter as part of the used household items.
And the fifth count accused Madubugwu of being in possession of one Emerald Magnum Pump Action Gun with serial number TS 870 – 113 – 0046 and one Delta Magnum Pump Action Gun with serial number 501 as well as 41 cartridges/ammunition without lawful authority or licence.

Author: News Editor

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