Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Across section of European Parliamentarians have called on the European Union (EU) to intervene in the plight of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), azi Nnamdi Kanu and his co-detainees, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi,” saying that their ordeal was part of gross human rights abuses going on in Nigeria.
In a joint letter dated December 19, 2016 and addressed to the High Representative of the union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms. Federica Mogherini, the signatories comprising 16 Members of European Parliament (MEP)
The European lawmakers also complained bitterly about “the continued violence towards IPOB supporters as perpetrated by the Nigerian government,” citing the killings of protesting Biafran activists by security agencies.
They noted that “since October 14, 2015, Kanu has been illegally imprisoned by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, despite being acquitted of all charges brought against him,” adding that in spite of acquittal by the competent courts in Nigeria, the federal government has continued to detain the IPOB leader and his colleagues.
“It is clear that the fundamental human rights of Kanu, Madubugwu and Nwawuisi are being grossly violated. Human Rights Watch have reported of the violation of the defendants’ rights, including their right to a fair trial,” the MEPs said.
Specifically the MEPs want the HR to act on behalf of the EU and leverage on the relationship between the EU and Nigeria to compel the Nigerian government to release Kanu, Madubugwu and Nwawuisi without further delay.
“On behalf of the EU, especially in respect to the EU-Nigeria partnership, the Nigeria EU Joint Way Forward, the developments of the sixth Nigeria-EU ministerial dialogue and the fact that Nigeria is a recipient of EU aid, we call upon you to: advocate the immediate and safe release of Kanu and his co-defendants, Benjamin Madubugwu and Nwawuisi.”
The MEPs also demanded that the EU should “challenge the actions of the President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Nigerian Department of State Services in regards to the detention of Kanu, Madubugwu and Nwawuisi.