Lagos-based lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has urged a Federal High Court in Lagos to order the immediate release of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra who are being allegedly detained unlawfully by the Federal Government.
In a suit he filed on Thursday, Adegboruwa accused the Federal Government of trampling on the constitutional rights of the pro-Biafran protesters to freedoms of expression, assembly and association.
The lawyer claimed that the invasion of IPOB gatherings by the Nigerian military and the killing of the pro-Biafran protesters was a violation of sections 39 and 40.
He is urging the court to restrain the Federal Government and its agents from further interfering with activities of the pro-Biafran protesters and unleashing terror on them.
The lawyer wants the court to declare that the pro-Biafran protesters are “entitled to assemble together in any part of the country, for the purpose of demanding for self determination, without any permit or licence.”
Joined as respondents in the suit marked, FHC/L/CS/775/2016, are President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff.
Adegboruwa prayed the court to hold that the police, the army or any other security agencies were not entitled to invade the gathering of the pro-Biafran protesters, or to shoot them or to arrest and detain them.
He claimed that inasmuch as the Federal Government of Nigeria is entitled to organise and hold the “Armed Forces Remembrance Day” in remembrance of the soldiers that died during the civil war, the IPOB also has a right to organise and hold the “Biafra Heroes’ Remembrance Day” without any threat to their liberty and freedom.
The lawyer is seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that ” the statutory duties of the respondents does not cover or extend to the interruption of peaceful and lawful assembly willingly organised by the citizens of Anambra State, Enugu State, Imo State, Abia State and Ebonyi State to honour their fallen heroes and therefore they are not entitled to arrest, detain or kill any innocent and unarmed citizen on account of International Biafra Heroes’ Remembrance Day.”
He is also seeking a court order compelling the Federal Government to immediately release “all the innocent citizens of Anambra State, Enugu State, Imo State, Abia State and Ebonyi State held in their custody in respect of the International Biafra Heroes’ Remembrance Day.”
The suit filed on Thursday has not been assigned to any judge. (Punch)