Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate release of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that Ozekhome, who is the lead counsel for the IPOB leader, made the call in a keynote address he delivered at the Handshake Across The Niger II, held in Enugu State on Friday.
He stated that the self-determination struggle for Biafra is legally guaranteed in the country’s laws and with the Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights.
He said: “For the information of those harbouring the thought that it was an illegality or unconstitutionality, his self-determination agitation is in line with the Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); African Charter of Human and People’s Rights; Article 3&4 of United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (2007) among others. Nigeria is a signatory to all these statutes.”
Ozekhome regretted the level of impunity in the country by leaders, adding that a Nigerian court ordered the release of Kanu but the Federal Government which should protect the rights of its citizens filed for a stay of execution and the same court granted it.
Ozekhome insisted that Kanu never jumped bail as was erroneously bandied by the Federal Government, rather he escaped to save his life, which was heavily under threat during the invasion of his home by armed soldiers.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria queried that if Kanu had been killed by the invading Nigerian Army officers whether the court case would have continued.
He said, “We are telling the Federal Government that this is not proper. Set this man free. Nnamdi Kanu is not well. He has ear pains. The DSS doctors have confirmed that he is not doing well, health-wise.
“But they would still not allow him access to his own private doctor. We have told the Supreme Court to do the needful. The case has been adjourned till May 11.
“Please sir, on my bended knees, you can order the release of Nnamdi Kanu today. You can do it through the Attorney General of the Federation, who has the power to discontinue the case.
“You don’t have to wait for the Supreme Court decision before you do the right thing.”