Enugu-based human rights lawyer, Vincent Obeta, has faulted the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra by the Department of State Services (DSS) in Lagos.
DSS arrested Kanu last week Wednesday at Golden Tulip Essential Hotel Ikeja Lagos, few hours after he landed in Nigeria from his United Kingdom base.
He was immediately moved to Abuja where he was arraigned in court on Monday and granted bail under very stringent conditions.
Speaking with journalists in Enugu yesterday, Obeta, who is the counsel to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) said that Kanu came to see his people in Nigeria as he was not on exile and DSS invaded his hotel, the way they invaded Akwa Ibom State Government House, arrested him and bundled him to Abuja.
Obeta said that Kanu has now been granted bail in the sum of N2 million, but he was yet to fulfill the stringent bail conditions which included that a level 16 officer must stand as surety for him to regain his freedom.
The legal practitioner however said that they were preparing for a legal battle with the Federal Government over the arrest of Kanu, pointing out that under the United Nations’ Charter, people have the right to self-determination.
“That same right have been captured under the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, which Nigeria is not only signatory, but has domesticated it and it has become part of Nigerian law.
“So, it is not left for somebody sitting somewhere to say what he is doing is illegal. Only the court can determine that. Nnamdi Kanu also has a right to freedom of expression as provided under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICPR) as well as provided under Section 4 of 1999 constitution as amended.
“Personally, as a lawyer, what Nnamdi Kanu is asking for on behalf of indigenous people of Biafra is not different from what the Scottish people are asking of Great Britain neither is it different from what Catalonians are asking from Spain” Obeta said.
Obeta also warned the Federal Government not to use different strokes in handling the issue at hand, noting that after the recent kidnap and release of former Secretary to Federal Government (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, by suspected Fulani herdsmen, some Yoruba Elders threatened to secede from the country and nothing was done to them.
He recalled that the issue of secession first came up in Nigeria in 1954 or thereabouts when the North twice threatened to secede, adding that when in the very recent past, the militants in the Niger Delta threatened to secede, the Federal Government granted amnesty to them. (Daily Independent)