Biafra: IPOB threatens to resume protest over Kanu’s health

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Nnamdi Kanu being brought to court in Abuja
Nnamdi Kanu being brought to court in Abuja

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has threatened to continue its protest in the South East and South South states of the federation if by January 18, 2016, its leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu was not released from the cell of Department of State Services, DSS.

IPOB alleged that apart from denying Mr. Kanu access to his doctors, the Federal Government through the DSS, has devised another way of complicating his already deteriorating health condition, by making him to sleep on bare floor, thereby making him to contract pneumonia, which may possibly kill him.

Also, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, a rights group, has called for the release of Kanu, 90 days after he was arrested by the DSS in Lagos, and taken into its underground custody in Abuja and held without trial or conditional (bail) release or unconditional release till date.

Director of Radio Biafra and Leader, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu as he appeared before Justice Ahmed Mohammed Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, 23/12/2015

The group in a statement by its chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, insisted that “the arrest and detention of Citizen Kanu and their circumstances are in grave violation of all known constitutional, regional and international conventional liberties or civil and political rights.

“Gravest of these violations by Buhari and his DSS are the provisions of Section 35 (4) (a) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as well as Sections 293, 295 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Ac, ACJ, of 2015.

“Therefore, we feel saddened and alarmed over Buhari administration’s anarchic approaches and dispositions, which are steadily leading Nigeria to irreparable destruction of its organised society, public morality and decency. The consequences of the Buhari administration’s contempt for rule of law are economically, politically, socially and ethno-religiously calamitous. Economically speaking, for instance, no rational foreign investor will risk his or her investment or capital in a country where its president boldly appeared on national television and declared disobedience to judicial decisions and disrespect to rule of law as sacrosanct and the corner stone of his administration.

“Citizen Kanu’s detention of over 60 days without trial or bail release is prohibited by Section 35 (4) (a) of the 1999 Constitution which clearly stated that “any person who is arrested or detained in accordance with subsection 1 (c) of this section(reasonable suspicion of committing any criminal offense or preventing commission of a criminal offense)shall be brought before a court of law within a reasonable time, and if he is not tried within a period of: (a) two months from the date of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who is in custody or is not entitled to bail (in capital offenses), he shall (without prejudice to any further proceedings that may be brought against him) be released either unconditionally or upon such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears for trial at a later date.”

IPOB’s Media and Publicity Officer, Mr. Emma Powerful, who addressed newsmen in Nnewi, said, the Federal Government had devised a systematic way of snuffing life out of Mr. Kanu. Apart from denying him access to his doctors, they have subjected him to sleeping on the bare floor, which made him to contact pneumonia, which can possibly take his life.

Respiratory problem

“Information reaching us from DSS office is that Mr. Kanu has been complaining of pains at both sides of his lungs. He has been having persistent cough for the past two weeks, and the coughing is so severe that traces of blood is noticed in the sputum. He is equally having respiratory problem now.

“They have also perfected another plan and way of killing his morale and frustrating him in the DSS cell. They are doing that through denying him access to newspapers and magazines, all in an attempt to shut him out of what is happening, because according to them, he is a ‘never say die’ type of activist that needs all manner of frustrating and intimidating measures to make him renounce his agitation,” he said.

The group allegedly gathered that Kanu was also being tortured and harassed to the extent that sleeping had become the most difficult thing he could have, and therefore, warned that what Boko Haram was doing in the North East would be a child’s play to what they would do if anything unsavoury happens to Mr. Kanu.

“We are Biafrans, our level of technological development has gone beyond what people know, If we can do what we did during the Nigeria-Biafra war, then one can imagine what we will do at this computer age. That we decided to be non-violent does not mean that we cannot do what Boko Haram insurgents are doing.

“We are being pushed to the wall by the present Nigerian government, and we will soon display a little of the stuff we are made of, if Mr. Kanu is not released on January 18, when his case is coming up in court,”he warned.

IPOB urged all its members, all pro-Biafra groups and agitators to be in Abuja on January 18, 2016 for Mr. Kanu’s court appearance to witness the proceedings of that day. (Vanguard)

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