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Five pro-Biafra agitators die celebrating Kanu’s release

Pro-Biafra protesters during their celebration in Enugu over Kanu’s release …yesterday.

Pro-Biafra protesters during their celebration in Enugu over Kanu’s release …yesterday.

• Court orders Radio Biafra director’s unconditional freedom
* OPC warns demonstrators against shifting base to Yorubaland

WHAT began as a celebration by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Onitsha over the release from detention of the Director, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday, ended in blood and tears when soldiers allegedly shot and killed five members of the group.

Reports say 30 others sustained various degrees of injury.

The celebration which also took place across major cities in the South East followed Justice Adeniyi Ademola of Federal High Court Abuja Division’s ordering Kanu’s unconditional release from the Department of State Security (DSS)’s custody.

Ruling on a bail application filed and argued by his lawyer, Mr. Egechukwu Obeta, Justice Ademola ordered Kanu’s immediate release.

In reaching that decision, Justice Ademola had also set aside an order he earlier granted the DSS to detain Kanu for an additional 90 days to enable the security agency to complete their claimed investigation of Kanu over alleged terrorism and terrorism-financing.

The judge held that the continued detention of Kanu after three months without trial, violated Section 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Act 2015 and Section 35 of the 1999 constitution.

According to Justice Ademola, there is no law that grants leave to the DSS or any other security agency for that matter to detain anyone beyond the period stipulated by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, when in actual fact there was no intention to put the person on trial.

“From the available facts before the court, it is clear that the DSS either lacked enough materials to prosecute the applicant in a law court or yet to make up their mind on prosecution.

‘‘Detaining the applicant for more than three months without trial runs contrary to Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and such an act must not be allowed in the interest of the rule of law.

“Constitution remains the supreme law. It does not permit detention of a Nigerian citizen for a period spanning over two months without charging the citizen before the law court. This court has the duty to protect the constitution and one of the duties is to admit a citizen of this country on bail when his right to freedom is being violated,” Justice Ademola said.

But the Judge faulted Kanu’s claim that Terrorism Prevention Act 2013 (Amended) was illegal, adding that the Act was a potent legislation to check acts of terrorism.

Meanwhile, worried about the security situation in Nigeria, the Pan-Yoruba militant group, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has alerted security agencies to alleged moves by the pro-Biafran agitators to shift their campaign to Yorubaland.

The killings in Onitsha led to panic among motorists, commuters and the general public along the busy Niger Bridge area, through the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

It was learnt that a large number of supporters of IPOB on hearing about Kanu’s release, had gathered at the statue of the late Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu in a large procession.

An eyewitness, Festus Uyanna, said trouble started when the jubilating IPOB members at Bridge-Head Market, were asked to discontinue their march towards the Niger Bridge by the soldiers , “but they bluntly refused and continued to advance towards the bridge.”

He said it was when the jubilating pro-Biafra agitators failed to stop their march to the bridge that the soldiers started shooting sporadically “in a bid to scare the crowd away but  at the end five IPOB members were shot dead.”

In a statement from the National Coordinating Council of the OPC signed by Akinpelu Adeshina, copies of which were made available to reporters  in Ibadan, the pan-Yoruba group stated that it was “compelled to make this call given the precarious and heightened security situation in the country and the world over.

The statement read in part:  “As much as we believe in the right of every person and group to self-determination, we are of the firm belief that this particular event is mischievously conceived and earmarked to be hosted in any part of Yorubaland.

“It is true that the Yoruba are a liberal, peaceful and accommodating people, yet we are no fools and should not be treated as fools. The South West part of Nigeria is the most secure and peaceful part of Nigeria today and should therefore not be turned into a theatre of war or avoidable crisis.

“For too long, the Yoruba have accommodated all other tribes and nationalities like good hosts.  We have not minded the odium and other atrocities committed against our people, and on our ancestral land.

“Never in history has it been recorded that a Yoruba person or group crossed the Niger River into either the northern or eastern part of the country to go and vilify, desecrate or insult any of their paramount rulers for political or any other reasons.

“The leeway to do business and own property which the Igbo and other nationalities enjoy in Yorubaland has not been reciprocated for the Yoruba elsewhere, thus, it would only be fair to warn anyone or group that if our relationship cannot be mutually beneficial, it should in no way be injurious to us as a people.

“The recent infractions of the Fulani cattle-herders in Yorubaland are the last slap to the cheek that we are ready to accommodate as a people.

“We see the attempt to bring the World Igbo Day celebration – in whatever guise – which is normally celebrated on the 29th September annually to the Yorubaland as a mischievous and diabolically crafted attempt to cause chaos in and destabilise Yorubaland; and this we will repulse and reject with everything at our disposal.

“In conclusion, we call on all Yoruba elders, leaders of thought and the commoners to wake up to the realities of the day and stand up to be counted in this effort to maintain the continued peaceful and harmonious existence that has always been the pride of the Yorubas.”

The killings in Onitsha notwithstanding, members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of
Biafra (MASSOB), IPOB and other Igbo groups yesterday took to the streets in Enugu in jubilation over Kanu’s release.

Meanwhile, apex Igbo Socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has hailed the judiciary over the release of Kanu and called on the Federal Government to immediately begin the implementation of the 2014 National Conference resolutions to end injustices and marginalisation in the country.

Also, Kanu’s father Eze Isreal Kanu has expressed joy over the release of his son, giving thanks to God , the courts and IPOB leaders among others.

“I am grateful to the court that ordered his release but I am not yet in a position to say what follows next hence I leave that to IPOB,” he told reporters.

In another development, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo has commended the military for its efforts in handling insurgency as well as the pro-Biafra protests.

Okorocha who made the disclosure on Thursday when he visited 34 Field Artillery Brigade, Obinze, near Owerri noted that the military had readjusted to the existing realities and thus gained the respect and admiration of the public.

Okorocha told the Brigade Commander, Brig. – Gen Kay Isiaku, that the state government would work closely with the command to achieve desired peace in the area.

In his remarks, the brigade commander thanked the governor for the promise to rehabilitate the barracks, pledging g that the command would partner other agencies of the government to assist them carry out their functions.

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29 Comments
  • Izeobor

    What a stupid “OPC” threat! Nigeria belongs to every Nigerian citizen and every Nigerian is entitled to freedom of expression, freedom of association, et cetera. There is nowhere in the Nigerian constitution, extant or not, where Nigerian citizens are prohibited from gathering – North, East, West, or South. OPC’s statement is a blatant display of stupidity and arrogance which borders on ignorance. It seems OPC is acting as if Yorubas and Igbos are already independent nations from Nigeria. Until that is done, OPC should not arrogate any powers of nationhood to itself but hide its head in shame for its foolish stance on people who are guaranteed freedom of expression and association anywhere in Nigeria. Unless and until tribes are independent, it is “Long Live Nigeria”.

    • Michael Palmer

      Freedom of expression u say…what d other tribe enjoy in SW…did any yoruba enjoy such in d SS.SE or ln the north

      • Judepolitics

        You’re talking absolute nonsense. All the branches of redeemed church, mountain of fire, deeper life, etc are not owned by Yorubas. Why do we talk nonsense?

        • SANCHEZ

          God bless you. All these churches milking the Ibo man and woman dry.

      • stan Emelogu

        Whatever Nigerians enjoy in Lagos are what they earned in Lagos. If anything Yorubas have enjoyed the hardwork of other Nigerians in Lagos. The Ibos for example have worked very hard to earn what they own in Lagos. If Yourubas want to enjoy other parts of Nigeria they should step out and take business risks in other parts of Nigeria.

      • My take is that people choose where they live. If you live in Bukuru, that is your home. It is not give or allocated. It is not a quota thing. t is a choice thing. Stop blowing hot and cold. During the June 12 struggle, Nigerians protested everywhere, east, west, north and south. Even in the North where protest are taboo, except for religious reasons. Many gave their lives for the struggle. Please don’t rewrite history.

  • stan Emelogu

    Since no Nigerian has ever required a visa to enter Yorubaland then the OPC cannot claim it permitted anyone into Yorubaland to live and do business. Ever since the discovery of Yorubaland. Lagos the only real economic value in Yorubaland was not built by Yorubas but by all Nigeria with oil revenue from tha SS. The commentary by the OPC shows deranged narcissism.

    • Michael Palmer

      For ur info..lagos was not built by revenue from ss as u claim…check the position of lagos on bfore the independent. Lagos has always been know for its economic activities during slave trade and colonial era…it has its advantage becuz it access to sea

      • Ralf

        Tell tht to d uninformed n ignoramus ok..All d fly overs,bridges n roads connections were built then too..Right?..Hehehehe ?

      • stan Emelogu

        Are you human?

      • Nwa Aba {Proud Biafran}

        Yoruba land is located in Nigeria they share FG monthly oil money
        Igbo’s have right too

  • Darlington

    Buhari and his Service Chiefs should be preparing to have a date with ICC at Hague for brazenly killing unarmed pro-Biafra agitators. Buhari would end up be the worse dictator in the history of this contraption called Nigeria. Why will I continue living in a country where human rights is brazenly abused? Biafra restoration is the only way out of this man inhumanity to man.

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      You don’t need enemies, you are very good to self destruction. You come round to blame others.
      Igbo who caused January 1966 Coup, can not be allowed to bully any one into how to restructure Nigeria.
      Go back to your homeland & ask to be left alone.

  • Azazelle

    This is what I do not understand. Treason is a capital offence- punishable by death; yet we have these Pro-Biafra lunatics still running around alive. Hang them!

    • Judepolitics

      Prove treason in court…. Idiot

    • Kalusia

      brainless moron…freedom of expression is not treason. To knuckle it down to ABC for you as a tout you are, Treason = Boko Haram Activities …you see the picture ?

      • Azazelle

        Typical Biafran apologist – Uneducated, and resorts to insults when their case is revealed to be as porous as their unenlightened minds.

        You and Judepolitics need some education; learn to communicate sanely so that on that inevitable day when someone attempts to execute you both for your secessionist activities, you will at least be able to defend yourself by saying something more eloquent than “to KNUCKLE it down…”. Not that you are solely at fault anyway, you are merely an indictment on the Nigerian educational system that churns out illiterates with baseless degrees (that is if you even have a degree because your grammar and your way of thinking is at primary 3 level at best).

        That being said, I do not join issues with the unintelligent so, adios my friends.

        • Ben Nwabueze

          Hahahaha what makes you think the Yoruba’s are the most educated tribe in Nigeria? Wake up. All part of Nigeria the Yoruba’s are the motor park rats and agbero and a typical example is here in portharcourt rivers state and the worst is that they can even speak pigin English to start with. The statistics for the most educated tribe has change drastically. Look at you guys celebrating the arrest of Kalu…..why not hide your faces in shame because when a man is educated he knows his right and today the most educated nigerian is free….thank you Nnamdi Kalu and long live federal republic of Biafra

          • Azazelle

            Sweetheart, I’m not Yoruba. Another testament to your education seeing as you assume that everyone in a country of over 250 tribes is either Yoruba, Hausa or igbo…. You guys just keep making my point for me. Lwkmd.

          • Ben Nwabueze

            Educated fool! Please can you explain what makes me your sweetheart? It seems you overheard someone use the word SWEETHEART and it pleases your ears hence you decided to use it. Correction 1,sweetheart is a person with whom someone is having a romantic or sexual relationship.

            2, there is only 3 tribes in Nigeria which is WAZOBIA and every other tribe are minorities and for that reason we the Biafrans needs all tribes to be represented and that is the reason for Biafra so little educated fool please wake up and identify where you are coming from so that you understand where you are going to.

          • Azazelle

            Awwww….seems like I’m getting under your skin… Don’t worry SWEETHEART, I’ll do my best to stop exposing your silliness all over the internet… Tell me something though…are you a second generation result of incestuous relationships? You seem quite retarded to me. If so, I apologise for engaging you. It’s not my usual habit to rile up the mentally challenged.

          • Ben Nwabueze

            Educated fool. Why would you call me your sweetheart…guess you dont know the meaning and you must have heard it from someone and it pleases your ears hence you never cared to check the meaning, sweetheart is a person with whom someone is having a romantic or sexual relationship.hahahahaha educated little fool.
            2, in Nigeria there is one WAZOBIA and other tribes are all minorities and that is the only reason we fight for Biafra because we need every other tribe, minority or no minority to be observed.
            3, if you are not Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba then you are minority and that’s why no great person in your minority tribe is represented in the Nigerian naira. Its high time you find out where you are coming from so that you can understand where you are going to.
            Biafra for live.

  • amador kester

    They were merely celebrating so why the brutal killings and why look for trouble? If they precipitate trouble needlessly they will run

    • Rev

      I don’t blame them. The Igbo don’t even trust their own pastor. I hope they will trust themselves in “Biafraland”

  • Ralf

    ICC is not too far…We are watchin n recording these killings of unarmed protesters in igboland by d Nigerian military. ..They must pay for this…Biafra must b actualized. ..May d souls b of my pple murdered since d struggle RIP. …Hail Biafra

  • AriseNigeria

    Government must bring to justice all soldiers involved in this cold blood killings of unarmed civilians, otherwise no military unit in Nigeria, or any army in uniform will be free of retaliatory killings. As for faceless OPC, Biafra has never and will never include them in their agitation for an independent Biafra Nation. Protects and celebration is a fundamental human right, not limited to region nor can it be restricted to any locality, that is the guarantee of the constitution. OPC does not and cannot make rules that supersedes the Supreme law of the land.

  • Biola Bello

    I once read a caption which said “Help de-congest the world, acquire AIDs today”.
    I can now say the same – “Help de-congest Nigeria, become a Biafra agitator today”..

  • 2mmmmmm1nnnnnn

    PLEASE, BUHARI RETURN YOUR {SOUTH EASTERN OCCUPATION-SPECIFICALLY, ABA, ONITSHA, P.H. } NIGERIAN ARMY/POLICE, WHO STEAL CASH, MOLEST, ABUSE, ASSAULT, ARREST, DETAIN WITHOUT A CHARGE; PEACEFULLY, LAW ABIDING RESIDENTS; FOR NO JUST CAUSE, NOW?

  • Mr Nwankwo

    OPC is acting as if we re already independent entities, as if there is war already, dis press statement seems to me like a grandstanding, I dnt need yorubaland alone to survive as a human created by God, likewise any other yoruba son or daughter, save me dis tribal crap.

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