Deportation of non-indigenes by Lagos: NIGERIA MAY GO UP IN FLAMES IF . . . —MASSOB, Intersociety & Anambra CLO warn

Posted by News Express | 3 August 2013 | 5,580 times

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More criticism this evening trailed the July 24 deportation of non-indigenes by the Lagos State Government of scores of non-indigenes who were dumped in the commercial town of Onitsha, Anambra State.

In a joint public statement issued in Onitsha, a copy of which was made available to News Express, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), and Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Anambra State Branch warned that the action is capable of setting off a chain of events that could consume Nigeria.

The statement was signed by Comrade Uchenna Madu (MASSOB), Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi (Intersociety) and Comrades Aloysius Emeka Attah and Justus Uche Ijeoma for CLO. It reads as follows:

“As the man who saw tomorrow, we, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, saw years ago, the needlessness of the present Nigerian Federation that makes some citizens predators and others predators’ meals;  a so-called country where citizens are made slaves and destitute in their own land. Such is what we painfully called NIGERIA today, which is nothing but a camp of enslavement and butchery.” –Comrade Uchenna Madu, MASSOB National Director of Information.

“The arrogance, remorseless postures, callous choice of words and unguarded utterances of the Governor of Lagos State in his futile justification of the Nazi-like deportation of Nigerians have clearly vindicated our earlier position that: 1. Lagos State has laid a case both in theory and practice that it is tired of being governed by the mother law-the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. 2. The State runs a separatist enclave. 3. The State is the most lawless federating unit in the Nigerian Federation. 4. The provisions of the mother law have been made inoperable and subject of infraction and disobedience in the State. 5. The criminal and civil laws of Lagos State are now supreme and superior to the mother law. 6. The State has jettisoned and disregarded the Constitution and now operates Hitler-like laws and policies with recklessness.” –Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Intersociety’s Board.

It is very easy to tell lies or indulge in illegal acts but very difficult, if not impossible to defend them. By convention, liars use passive voice, while truth tellers use active voice. As a result, the defenses put forward by the Governor of Lagos State and two of his party’s chieftains,  Mr. Joe Igbokwe of the Lagos State APC  and Dr. Chris Ngige of Anambra APC; over the dumping of 72 innocent citizens in Onitsha at 3:am  have continued to expose them. Another twist to the criminal and unconstitutional conduct was the circulation of some documents to justify the gross constitutional misconduct. Unfortunately for them, the indefensible documents turned out to be utterly incoherent with the subject matter. In other words, the documents they authored and invoked for defense have caught them in the act by disclosing further how a governor magisterially and unconstitutionally sanctioned the internal deportation of the citizens of the same federation to another federating unit in a commando style at the hours of blue law.

Apart from the fact that the act of internal deportation of citizens, by itself, grossly violates the Constitution, the documents, which includes purported exchange of letters between an aide of the LASG and the Lagos liaison office of the Anambra State Government in April 2013 as well as names of the so-called fourteen citizens of Anambra State origin; are grossly contradictory and baseless. Also, there is no link between the said documents and the callous act of bundling 72 innocent Nigerians at   the hours of blue law to another federating unit. We believe strongly that the documents were hurriedly dusted up to justify the criminal and unconstitutional conduct carried out on July 24, 2013. That is to say over three months after the purported correspondence exchange took place (April 2013). To further expose the emptiness and immateriality of the documents, thirteen out of the fourteen names have no links to traditional Igbo surnames of Anambra State as well as the local governments and towns the documents claimed they hailed from. None of the names also tallied with the names of the 72 deportees some of, which are in possession of relevant agencies of the Anambra State Government, the media, the Red Cross and the Rights groups.

The names with fake surnames, towns and LGAs of origin are: 1. “Nokonu Ani”, from “Ikanu” in “Ikanu LGA” of “Anambra State”. 2. “Onyekua” “Okuwa”, from “Ihiala LGA”. 3. Jude “Olumba”, from “Omunama” town of “Nnewi LGA”. 4. “Emma Okori”, from “Ikolegbene” town. 5. Ndubuisi “Kalu”, from “Onitsha, Ogbosiri LGA”. 6. Okoro John, from “Osarobi” town of Nnewi South LGA. 7. “Andy Oshornogor” (no town and LGA). 8. Sunday Nwagwu (no town and LGA). 9.” Joseph Eto”, from “Gbogboasan” town, in “ Obudu LGA”. 10. “Christian Otu” (no town and LGA). 11. Ifeoma Chukwuemeka, from Ojoto in Idemmili South LGA. 12. Juliet Ikemere, from Ufuma in “Olumba LGA”. 13. “Grace Udo”, from “Asia” town. 14. “Victoria Agboola” (Yoruba). Out of these fourteen names, thirteen names are faked with fake towns and LGAs; except one Ifeoma Chukwuemeka from Ojoto in Idemmili South LGA. In other words, these names, towns and LGAs are not known to the Government of Anambra State, its Local Government, town/community and traditional surname systems.

Apart from the foregoing, more revelations as per how innocent Nigerian citizens including petty traders were rounded up by the LASG on Lagos roads and streets, detained for over seven months without trial and deported to Onitsha Upper Iweka in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, have continued to emerge and rubbish a bunch of falsified and clueless excuses offered by the Government of Lagos State and its ruling party chieftains including Engineer Joe Igbokwe and Dr. Chris Ngige. One of such revelations came from one of the deportees, Miss Rosemary Nathaniel of Ubakala, Umuahia in Abia State. According to her”I was arrested in January 2013 with a friend by some KAI operatives of the LASG while standing and discussing by the roadside. Before my arrest and detention, I was working at a T-shirt weaving centre at Mile 2.  We were taken to an illegal prison at Alausa area of Lagos, where we met others who were also arrested and detained. The painful aspect of it was that they were not bordered to ask any of us where we live or what we do for a living. As I speak, my sister whom I live with does not know anything about my whereabouts. It is a sad thing that this is happening in one’s country” (source:  Vanguard Newspaper, 2nd August, 2013). Other deportees are Friday Ndukwe-Ohafia, Abia State; Grace Igbochi-Lagos State; Ugulori Tutua-Warri, Delta State; and Chinyere Nicholas-Awomama, Imo State.

Dr. Chris Ngige’s attempt to defend the grossly unconstitutional act of his potential campaign funders and political party ticket givers ended up rubbishing them the more. His introduction of barefaced falsehood into the atrocious act dimmed the little chance available for them to apologize to Nigerians especially the Igbo-Lagosians. His weight behind such modern slavery speaks volume of soiled and inhuman characters occupying our public offices and those seeking to occupy same. How can a sane State Government accept to receive the internally deported citizens at a boundary that does not link it and the deporting State and at the blue law hour of 3: am? Were the deportees dumped at the Niger Bridgehead or under the Onitsha Upper Iweka Flyover? Why would armed police escorts accompany a peacefully negotiated exchange of deportees between the Lagos and the Anambra State Governments? Is Upper Iweka Flyover the Government House of Anambra State?

“As for Engineer Joe Igbokwe, we are not surprised at his throwing of weight behind the dastardly act of his political employers. We are eagerly waiting for his change of Igbo name and adoption of the Yoruba surname soonest. His continued bearing of Igbo name is beginning to discomfort us. Somebody who used to attack our own Eze-Igbo Gburugburu without regard to his seminal wisdom and old age can do anything including selling his people in return for bowel of Amara and red oil soup. He must be careful so as not to be declared a persona non grata in Igbo land including his Nnewi town, the great home of our Great Ikemba,” says Comrade Uchenna Madu.

As far as we are collectively concerned, Governor Babatunde Fashola has exhibited unfitness,  constitutionally, to continue to function as a governor having gravely violated the Constitution under which he was elected to govern and which he swore to uphold and protect at all times. He ought to have resigned or be impeached.  The impeccability of his SANship is also threatened so also decency and decorum attached to the inner Bar in Nigeria. A knowledgeable governor ought to guide his choice of words and mode of public speeches at all times. How can he describe the Igbo-Lagosians as “guests” and his government “host government”? Are Igbo-Lagosians foreign citizens in Lagos? What makes him think that Mr. President has no constitutional or legal powers over his State and its unconstitutional conducts even in matters such as being complained of that threaten the national security and put the Constitution and the citizens in jeopardy? What does he mean by “a lot is at stake here”? Is he threatening to annex the properties of Igbo-Lagosians or create rooms for “abandoned properties”? Is Fashola respectable and constitutionally knowledgeable enough to wear the toga of a SAN or is he a Senior Advocate of Internal Deportation? Why would Governor Obi call Governor Fashola to inform of the dumped deported citizens who were hurriedly dumped at 3: am when the same Fashola did not deem it necessary to call him to inform him of the LASG’s plans to dump them in the State’s territory?

Finally, we thank Nigerians and the media immensely for standing up against this perfidious constitutional violation by the Lagos State Government. It is our collective warning that unless the action of the Lagos State Government is checked and nipped in the bud; otherwise Nigeria will go up in flames. There are limits to tolerance and multiple approaches to resistance and self determination. One of them is disobedience.  The Federal Government must be guided by the fact that under the Constitution, no State including Lagos has any right or power to engage in act of internal deportation of citizens from its federating unit to another. Also, no State including Anambra State has any right or power under the Constitution to receive or negotiate to receive any internally deported citizens within the Federation. Any discussions or negotiations between two States on how to deport or receive any citizens or to cause forceful movement of same from one part of the country to another is null and void and of no constitutional effect.  What Lagos State did amounts to treason or grave constitutional breaches such as enforcing its laws and policies beyond its constitutionally defined boundaries by way of internal displacement and illegal and extra-boundary resettlement of Nigerian citizens against their will.  The power and authority to enforce all laws and policies in all parts of the Federation resides with the Federal Government of Nigeria.  Attached pictures 1 to 5 are those of Citizen Osondu Agwu and others dumped in Onitsha by Governor Babatunde Fashola on July 24, 2013.

Photo shows Osondu Agwu (r) and a female deportee.

Source: News Express

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