David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has protested the continued detention of its members in various detention facilities across the country as a result of what it referred to as ‘long and indiscriminate adjournment’ of matters against its members.
The protest came after yesterday’s adjournment of a matter instituted against its leader, Nnamdi Kanu and two other members before the Justice Binta Nyako Federal High Court Abuja.
A statement signed by the Media and Publicity Secretary of the group, Emma Powerful, and made available to THISDAY in Awka, stated that no cruel judicial system in the world would sanction the detention of people who are still regarded by the law as innocent until proven guilty for upwards of three years without trial.
Powerful said: “This is the second long adjournment in as many months by Binta Nyako’s court without any regard for the welfare of those locked up as a result of this case. It does appear that the prosecution has run out of options and are only clutching at the straw of delay tactics as a way of inflicting punishment on innocent Biafrans whose only crime is asking for a referendum for Biafra.
Recall that while Kanu was released on bail in April this year, his co-accused, David Nwawuisi and Benjamin Madubugwu, were left behind in Kuje Prison.
IPOB said while Nwawuisi has spent almost three years in jail for no reason other than the fact that he identified with the cause of Biafra independence championed by IPOB, Madubugwu has been locked up in DSS dungeon and Kuje prison for over two years without formal commencement of his trial.
The group also listed some other members who have been in various detention centres to include Bright Chimezie Ishinwa, who is still being held by “DSS Director General, Lawal Daura, despite repeated pronouncements by a Federal High Court to release him unconditionally with compensatory payment of N5million for illegal detentionm” and Chidiebere Onwudiwe too.
It said: “In total disregard for the rule of law and judicial pronouncements, Ishinwa is still languishing in underground DSS detention facility in Abuja. Since the DSS will not obey court order to release him or attend court to hear the case involving Benjamin Madubugwu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and David Nwawuisi, why are they still holding them in detention?
“All men and women of good conscience must ask serious questions regarding the operations of the legal system in Nigeria and how undemocratic it is for a government to throw people with different opinions in jail indefinitely without proper trial.
“How is it expected that Ishinwa, Madubugwu, Onwudiwe and Nwawuisi will obtain justice when rulings are not obeyed and court sessions are adjourned recklessly without regard for the welfare of the victims of this lopsided judicial system?
“The onus is on the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and other well-meaning legal luminaries to prevail upon the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and DSS to obey court judgements and respect court processes.”
The group further stated that the incessant adjournment only meant that the federal government does not have enough evidence that will stand effective scrutiny to nail the accused persons, and therefore, prefers to use adjournments to delay their freedom.
It advised the federal government to rather withdraw the case as further delay would not deter the group and its members from legitimately demanding the sovereignty of the nation of Biafra.