The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has accused the Supreme Court of Nigeria of denying its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, justice and obstructing his release from detention despite the October 13, 2022 ruling of the Appeal Court which acquitted and discharged the IPOB leader.
IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, stated that it wishes to alert Nigerians and the international community to what it described as a deliberate obstruction of justice by the Supreme Court in the case of Kanu, who is being detained by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Kanu has been detained by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government since June 2021 when he was renditioned to Nigeria from Kenya.
IPOB recalled that Justices of Abuja Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on October 13, 2022, unanimously discharged and acquitted Kanu of all charges brought against him by the Nigerian government and ordered his immediate and unconditional release while barring the government from further prosecuting the IPOB leader.
“Similarly, the Umuahi High Court ordered the Federal Government of Nigeria to return Mazi Nnamdi KANU to Kenya, where he was abducted, tortured, and extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria,” it said.
IPOB noted despite the rulings, the Nigerian government has “refused to obey their own court orders, instead, they erroneously went to the Supreme Court to obstruct justice by filing an appeal to their own lower court’s ruling”.
The secessionist group stated that one would have expected the Supreme Court to throw out the appeal by the Nigerian government for disobedience to the Appeal Court orders or expedite action on the case bordering on international crime and human rights abuse.
“Instead, they deliberately decided not to fix a date to hear the appeal before them. It has been over 100 days since their Federal Government appealed the judgment of their Appellate Court, which discharged and acquitted Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, yet the Supreme Court has not fixed a date for the hearing.
“IPOB and Biafrans perceive the Supreme Court Justices as colluding with the Federal Government to delay and deny Mazi Nnamdi Kanu justice. The Nigeria Government, which is in violation of international law of extradition and disobedience of court orders, is enjoying immunity because Supreme Court Justices have decided to trade justice for obedience to the executive arm of the government.
“If Supreme Court Judges can expedite actions on the cases involving Nigerian politicians, what stops them from expediting action on the extraordinary rendition and human rights abuse of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is currently very sick?”
IPOB further questioned if “the Supreme Court Justices are biased or are they promoting ethnic bigotry in dispensing justice?”
“Do the men on the bench want the world to believe that they are the executive branch of Nigeria government’s stooges?” it asked.
According to the group, Kanu’s deteriorating health condition is more than enough evidence for the Supreme Court to expedite action on his case “if indeed they are not bullied or intimidated by the executive branch of the Nigerian government to stand down on this case. It is said that justice delayed is justice denied.
“We in IPOB think that the Supreme Court Justices are aiding and abetting the Federal Government of Nigeria in torturing and denying Mazi Nnamdi Kanu justice by refusing to fix a date to hear the appeal before them.
“If anything else that is more severe happens to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS solitary confinement, the Supreme Court Justices and the Federal Government of Nigeria should be held responsible Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s case will test the boldness and independence of the Supreme Court of Nigeria as stipulated in their Constitution. The world is waiting for the Supreme Court to prove their independence.”