Lawyers seek withdrawal of charges against Nnamdi Kanu
Fault Osinbajo over remarks on Biafra agitation
Lawyers defending the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, have called for the termination of all criminal charges against him.
The lead counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who spoke yesterday in Abuja, urged that the five-count charge preferred against Kanu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie should be immediately withdrawn to allow for their unconditional freedom.
He argued that the defendants have committed no offence known to law, noting that this explains why the Federal Government has bluntly refused to open its case against their clients.
He said: “The second to fourth defendants cannot continue to be detained on the strength of the frivolous and concocted charges, in breach of their statutory guaranteed rights as clearly encapsulated under chapter four of the 1999 Constitution. There must be an end to litigation.”
Ejiofor continued: “We would have ordinarily shelved this briefing for a number of reasons, but for the compelling need to address some misplaced narratives in the public domain, particularly, seeming resort to extra-judicial declarations and pronouncement, by the executive arm of the government, which we viewed with serious contempt.
“Such offensive opinions emanating from the complainant have the capability of distorting the pendulum in our client’s criminal trial.”
He recalled that Kanu was arrested in October 2015 and has since been deprived freedom in defiance to several orders.
The lawyer further noted: “It is an incontrovertible fact that orders made for Kanu’s unconditional release were disobeyed by the Federal Government, not because he has committed any offence known to law, but for their deliberate desperation to keep him behind bars in perpetuity.”
The legal team also reacted sharply to the statement credited to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, where he referred the Biafra agitation as unconstitutional.
They held that such statement offended section two of the constitution.
Ejiofor added: “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 Two of the Constitution, 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 has the capacity of distorting the mindset of the judicial officer in charge of our client’s case.”