Danger Looms As IPOB Threaten Weekly Lockdown Of Activities Over Nnamdi Kanu

IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu (left), and Hon. Justice Binta Nyako who is in charge of Kanu’s trials

Following the recent arrest of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the failure of the government of Nigeria to try him in court the day they promised to start his trials at the federal high court, Abuja, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has threatened a “weekly total lockdown” in the Southeast from August 9, 2021, should the Federal Government fail to release Kanu, unconditionally before August 8.

IPOB’s Head of Directorate of State, Chika Edozien, in a statement reportedly made in Enugu yesterday, also warned all those who allegedly contributed to the arrest of Kanu to continue praying that nothing untoward happens to him. The group opposed the October adjourned date for the continuation of Kanu’s trial, stressing that it would not allow him to remain in custody until that date.

It stated that the lockdown would take place “every Monday until Kanu is released,” stressing that the measure was one way to ensure the unconditional release of Kanu, hale and hearty. The statement added, “The Directorate of State of IPOB is very much aware of the strategy of the government of Nigeria to subject Kanu to media trial and to convict him in the public before giving that public conviction an official stamp of the judicial system.”

In a related development, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently caution his aides and officials to avoid social upheavals over the re-arrest of the IPOB leader. According to HURIWA’s convener, Emmanuel Onwubiko, right-thinking members of the global community see Kanu as a prisoner of conscience. The prominent civil rights advocacy group believes that the court can renew the bail granted Kanu, since bail is at the discretion of the presiding judge and, constitutionally, accused persons are deemed innocent in the eyes of the law.

It warned the security forces not to put Kanu’s life in danger in the same way Moshood Abiola was allegedly poisoned to death. Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, has said that as Nigeria seemingly subjects Kanu, Sunday Igboho and Omoyele Sowore to trumped-up treason trials, caution and keen reference to history should be the watchword.

In a statement sent to the media, the lawyer stated: “When alpha patriots get so upset with the system and begin to seek solutions in revolution or separation, they should rather be talked with and not necessarily subjecting them immediately to treason trials.”

He recalled that since 1960, democratic Nigeria has had many treason trials, and that only that of the late Obafemi Awolowo netted a conviction or came close. According to the lawyer, even when Awolowo’s trial resulted in conviction, it immediately brought many issues that still remotely dog Nigeria till date.

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