The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has expressed disappointment over the handling of its case against the Nigerian government by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. IPOB said the inability of the court to rule on the release of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu was disappointing.
The pro-Biafra group had hoped that the ECOWAS Court would deliver express judgment in order have its leader released, but has now expressed displeasure that the Court seemed aligned with Nigerian courts to frustrate their aspiration.
In a statement by IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, the group said it understands that Nigerian courts could not give a decisive ruling because of their pay masters, but wondered why ECOWAS Court should be slow in passing judgment.
The statement said, “Does it mean that African judges are not capable of standing up to defend the rights of the individual against a brutal and dictatorial state,
simply because the state pays the salaries of those judges? Can’t ECOWAS Court learn something from the European Court to see where judgements are delivered against sovereign governments on a daily basis?
“Does it mean ECOWAS Court and Federal High Court Abuja both funded by the APC government of Nigeria must do the bidding of their paymaster President Muhammadu Buhari by denying Nnamdi Kanu and others justice in this clear-cut case of persecution against those agitating for their God-given right to self determination?”
“The Indigenous people of Biafra IPOB and its leadership worldwide wish to express our disappointment with the collaboration between the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, COURT, and the Nigeria Federal High Court Abuja presided over by Justice Binta Nyako.
We view this as an unhealthy and dangerous judicial partnership of travesty of justice against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and other Biafrans detained alongside him.
“The ECOWAS Court and Nigerian domestic courts have been noticeable recently on the way both courts have resorted to making a complete mockery of justice by systematically extending the dates of their respective rulings on the cases before them involving our supreme leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu versus Federal Government of Nigeria. From a viewpoint of fairness and justice, these undue delays are appalling.
“It is not healthy for society or the interest of democracy for judges to base their handling of court cases on protecting the interest of who pays their salary.
If this ugly, unjudicial and illegal trend in not checked in black Africa, there is no hope for democratic development and defence of the rule of law.
We can understand, if not condone, Buhari’s crude interference in the judicial process because he is by nature a dictator, what is baffling is that justices of the law both in ECOWAS Court and Federal High Court Abuja should aid and abate him in the abuse of human rights and perversion of the course of justice.
“The determination of the case of gross abuse of human rights instituted by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu against the regime of Muhammadu Buhari has been pending before ECOWAS Court since March 2016.
“Any reasonable person is bound to ask why it has taken such a long time to deliver judgement on a clear cut case of disobedience to court order which everybody is already aware of.”