Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 7 November 2017 | 1,399 times
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Monday accused the Federal Government of applying delay tactics in order to frustrate court cases involving its detained members in various parts of the country.
In a statement made available to journalists in Awka by IPOB media and publicity secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, it said there had been endless adjournments and postponement of court cases involving IPOB in every Nigerian court, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court sitting in Abuja.
The group claimed that in some instances, the cases had been abandoned indefinitely, thus necessitating continued incarceration of IPOB members.
The statement stated: “The Nigerian judiciary and security operatives, especially the Nigerian Army and Police, are using the legal system to detain IPOB members without trial, under the guise of adjournment on each of the ongoing cases from Abuja, to Aba, Umuahia, Uyo, Port Harcourt and Enugu.
“All cases involving IPOB family members are being frustrated by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF). This has made the Nigerian judiciary and their judges willing accomplices to detention without trial for those holding alternative views to the government.
“Court orders are flagrantly being disobeyed by the same government that appointed the judges delivering these rulings. The case of Bright Chimezie Ishinwa is particularly distressing, given that a Federal High Court in Uyo ordered his immediate release, but till today DSS (Department of State Security) is still holding him and has refused to comply with the court order.
“The case came up again for hearing on November 2, 2017 in Uyo and in total disregard for the rule of law, the DSS refused to attend the court (session) and also refused to release Bright Chimezie Ishinwa who is languishing without trial at DSS detention facility in Abuja.
“The world should tell IPOB where we must go to obtain justice, given the failure of the courts to defend the common man. Nigerian government, it seems, has been given the judicial licence to pick up and detain anybody at will indefinitely at the pleasure of government officials. This is not democracy, this is not the rule of law; it is the worst form of tyranny.
“By persistently ignoring court orders and rulings of judges, the Buhari administration is inviting anarchy and chaos. How can a government charge somebody to its own court and when that court, having examined the case, determines that an accused person is innocent, the regime still holds that person in detention in a supposed democracy?
“The government of Muhammadu Buhari quickly labeled IPOB a terrorist organisation without due process of law. Now we have challenged them to prove in an open court how IPOB is a terror group, but the AGF has decided not to come to court to prove his case. This ugly pattern of total disregard for due process of law is repeated in every case involving IPOB. The regime keeps talking about peace and security, but its functionaries are themselves the largest contributors to the instability in Nigeria today.
“We wish to reiterate to the hearing of the civilised world that IPOB is and remains the most peaceful freedom fighting organisation anywhere in the world today. We are still wondering why the National Judicial Commission would be docile to the point of allowing the legal process in Nigeria to be trampled upon by the present regime.”
IPOB further said that the seeming quietness of professionals in the legal field, including the countless number of Senior Advocates of Nigeria that regularly appear on television programmes did not speak well of them or their profession.
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