Posted by News Express | 27 July 2022 | 320 times
. . . Accused by Intersociety of shielding lawbreakers and criminals, using state coercive instruments to destroy innocent lives, properties
By TINA TIMOTHY
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has accused the Nigerian Government of keeping mute and shielding perpetrators of wicked acts while turning state coercive instruments into instruments for wanton destruction of lives and properties belonging to innocent, defenseless citizens.
Intersociety stated this while reacting to the Federal High Court, Awka Division, ruling “which strongly declared as illegal and oppressive; and condemned in totality the commando styled invasion of the peaceful ancestral home of Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Nnamdi Kanu's Lead-Lawyer,” a ruling which the human rights group hailed.
The group in a statement in Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria, on Sunday, July 24, 2022, signed by its Board Chair Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, International Justice and Human Rights Ndidiamaka Chinaza Bernard (Esq.) and Head, Campaign and Publicity Chidinma Udegbunam (Esq.) said: “The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law has welcomed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Awka Division, which strongly declared as illegal and oppressive and condemned in totality the commando styled invasion of the peaceful ancestral home of Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Nnamdi Kanu’s Lead-Lawyer at the hours of the Blue-Law last year’s June and killing and property violence and abductions that followed; are clear acts of State brigandage, arson, persecution and terrorism.
“The monetary awards, though unmerited, are further recognition by the Honourable Presiding Judge/Federal High Court, that the Nigerian Government and its security forces and heads of their High Commands, have brazenly turned the State coercive instruments into instruments for wanton destruction of the lives of innocent and defenseless citizens and their peacefully acquired properties.
“This is even when the Criminal Laws of Nigeria are fundamentally established for defense of innocent and defenseless private and corporate persons and their properties. That the present central Government of Nigeria could turn its State instruments of coercion against an innocent and professional person simply because he is exercising his constitutional and professional rights to defend any citizen or body corporate as a Lawyer, irrespective of gravity of offense(s) alleged or being investigated or under prosecution; is totally unheard of, and a height of State partisanship, wickedness, intolerance, crudity and terrorism.
“This is more so when the same Nigerian Government and its security high commands are turning blind eyes on Jihadists and other extremists running riot and wrecking torrential havocs on innocent and defenseless citizens and their properties especially in the Northern parts of the country. It has never been reported anywhere or heard that lawyers representing those Jihadists have had themselves killed or maimed and their homes and properties invaded and burned down or destroyed by the State coercive agents.”
Recounting the ugly incident of June 2021 which involved the invasion of the lawyer’s ancestral home, abduction of two of his domestic staff, brother and Personal Assistant who was later burnt, destruction of properties, the human rights group said it played active roles in seeking justice but regretted that till date, the government has not apprehended the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
The statement continues: “It must be remembered that the ugly incident of June 2021 in the Lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofor's ancestral home at Oraifite, during which his two domestic staffs were abducted, elder brother abducted but later freed, and personal assistant (Okoro) abducted and later burnt to ashes along with the Lawyer's Camry Car; was not the first time such animalistic, dastardly act was perpetrated by Nigerian Government and its atrocious security operatives. In Dec 2019, the Lawyer was nearly killed after soldiers of the Nigerian Military invaded and attacked his ancestral abode at Oraifite during which dozens of surrounding houses, sales stores, parked automobiles and fixed properties were set ablaze. Intersociety was at the center of advocacy for justice in the two incidents and was also the first to have reported them. Till date, the Nigerian Government authorities have kept mute and shielded the perpetrators.”
Intersociety further lamented that the two abducted domestic staff of Ejiofor are still being held unlawfully by the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja since the incidence in June 2021 and called on the government to release them ‘without further delays or excuses and denials.’ The group also called for the verdict of the court in favour of Ejiofor to be immediately adhered to and all damages paid without further delay.
“The worst of it all is continued denial and refusal of the Nigerian Government and its security agencies involved to free the two abducted domestic staffers held unlawfully since June last year. This is even when it had severally been independently confirmed that the country’s secret police (DSS) are presently holding them without trial or release. It was further reported that not only that the two detainees are sharing the same captivity facility with the detained IPOB Leader but also one of them has visited him twice or more. One of the recently freed DSS captives had also confirmed seeing them during his recent captivity in the DSS dungeon in Abuja. Intersociety hereby strongly calls on DSS to set them free without further delays or excuses and denials. We also call for the enforcement to the letter of the Awka Federal High Court judgment delivered against the Army, Police, DSS and others. The monetary awards attached to the landmark verdict must also be complied with and fully paid by the respondents/defendants in compliance with the Court Order. In the event of failure to comply, further orders of the High Court of Justice including a Garnishee Order must be obtained to retrieve the monetary awards from the Dedicated Accounts of the named corporate perpetrators,” Intersociety stated.
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