The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) yesterday strongly kicked against ruling of the Judge of a Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Binta Nyako, that the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and 3 others standing trial before her court would be secretly tried.
The court had ordered that Kanu and his team members be tried secretly for leading a self determination struggle, which Kanu caused a major stir in the courtroom as he rejected the secret trial.
CLO while describing such ruling as strange and demonstration of the judge’s ignorance of constitutional law, wondered when masquerades had become human beings in Nigeria to bear witnesses against living humans
In a press statement signed by the CLO Executive Director, Comrade Ibuchukwu Ezike, the group called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria as the Head of the Judicial Arm of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to call Justice Binta Nyako to order and remind her that there is a gross difference between a military dictatorship and a democracy that Nigeria runs at the moment.
“The Court cannot be used as an agent or instrument by dictators to abuse the due process of the law and infringe on the rights of the citizens. It is reprehensible, shameful and, indeed, despicable.
“We make bold to say that the right to self determination is not a crime but a legitimate aspiration of all peoples all over the world to enforce their right to freedom or independence, choice of the political system and an own government under which they desire to operate and live in, a right protected by the provisions of the United nations mechanisms and the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights (Banjul Charter) to which Nigeria is a signatory.
“We, as Nigeria’s leading human rights organisation, do not see any crime committed by Kanu and his three Igbo kinsmen. They lead an organization that its members do not carry arms or operate in secrecy nor threaten the peace of the society.
“Despite wicked and unprovoked killing, maiming and raping of their members and members of other Pan Biafran movements running into over 700 armless persons in South Eastern and South Southern Nigeria including those in churches, they have not done anything that has threatened the peace of the public.
“It, therefore, behooves on their accusers to present clear evidences that would represent them as terrorists and not to concoct frivolous evidences against them. In view of the foregoing, CLO sees no justifications for Justice Nyako’s ruling to try the ethnic rights activists in secret in total disregard for our laws and human rights”, he said.
The organization also called on the United Kingdom whom they described the country’s silence since Kanu who is a British citizen’s incarceration as worrisome and international community to speak out.
“The ingredients of democracy include but not limited to respect for the rule of law, popular participation or inclusiveness, and regard for human rights, basic freedoms and due process”, the statement noted. ,