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Biafra: Nnamdi Kanu’s Lawyers Write Malami, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Make Demands

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The legal team of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu led by Aloy Ejimakor, has written to the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

The team is demanding Kanu’s unconditionally release in line with the recommendations of the United Nations

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Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

They reminded Malami of the need to accord Kanu an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations for his continued unlawful detention.

The letter was addressed to Malami and the Minister of Foreign Affairs was signed by Chukwuma-Machukwu, and Ejimakor.

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The letter reads partly: “As you must have noted, the Opinion demanded the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to immediately and unconditionally release our client; Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations for his continued unlawful detention.

READ ALSO: Biafra: Shut Down IPOB-linked YouTube Channels, FG Tells Google

“The Working Group requests the source and the Government to provide the above- mentioned information within six months of the date of transmission of the present opinion. However, the Working Group reserves the right to take its own action in follow-up to the opinion if new concerns in relation to the case are brought to its attention. Such action would enable the Working Group to inform the Human Rights Council of progress made in implementing its recommendations, as well as any failure to take action”. All emphasis (italic, bold underlining) ours.

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Your Excellency, we are sending this demand Letter to you because we believe that the subject matter falls under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Relations Ministry of Nigeria, as it is the duty of the Ministry to, among other things, ensure that Nigeria complies with her obligations under international law. Thus, in your considerations of the subject matter of this Letter, we respectfully invite you to be guided by the following:

“The Working Group, which is an integral part of the United Nations Human Rights Council, is a quasi-judicial body that has the legal mandate of the United Nations to adjudicate human rights petitions brought against member nations of the United Nations.

“The Opinion of the Working Group is legally binding on Nigeria because it is based primarily on Universal Human Rights standards set by Article 9(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 , The Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, 1988, The Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, 1992, The Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, 1989; all to which Nigeria is a signatory.

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“Some of the above human rights instruments were mentioned in the Opinion as having guided the Working Group in reaching this decision. To be sure, ratification is a means by which a nation renders itself subject to international laws and treaties. And by virtue of Section 12 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria {as amended} and a plethora of decisions by the Supreme Court of Nigeria {see; Abacha v Fawehinmi [2000] 6 NWLR Part 660 p 228}, ratification makes Nigeria subject to and bound by whatever treaties, principles, protocols, etc that it ratified and domesticated.

“Thus, Nigeria’s Domestication of Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights {which includes Article 6 that guarantees the Right against unlawful detention. This Article is as well very similar to Article 9(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights} has made Nigeria bound by it and in extension, bound by the Opinion of the Working Group which it was founded on.

“Furthermore the International Court of Justice in its dictum in the Hostages in Tehran case, ICJ Reports 1980, p. 42, para. 91 held:

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“wrongfully to deprive human beings of their freedom and to subject them to physical constraint in conditions of hardship is in itself incompatible with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as with the fundamental principles enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Court Dismisses Fresh Bail Application For Nnamdi Kanu

“It thus follows that, notwithstanding that a State may not have ratified or otherwise adhered to any of the preceding human rights treaties, it is nonetheless bound by other legal sources to ensure a person’s right to respect for his or her liberty and security.

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“That Kenya has not taken up a complaint against Nigeria for kidnapping a British citizen in her sovereign State cannot in law be an alibi for Nigeria as to avoid its Rule of Law obligations. The case of United States v. Toscanino (also cited in the Opinion) emphatically points out that a violation of international law is not merely a political matter to be settled through diplomatic channels by the states involved, but can also be relied upon by the accused in the domestic courts. see; See State v. Brewster (1835), 7 Vt. 118; United States v . Unverzagt (1924), 299 F. 1015 (D.C .), (1919-42)

“To this effect, even when Nigeria denies being a signatory to or ratifying some of the instruments as listed above which the Working Group relied on, the International Court of Justice has already set the precedent that even States that did not ratify these Documents will still be bound by them.

“As a bonafide member of the United Nations Organisation, Nigeria is subject to Decisions cum Opinions issued from all the United Nations bodies. Thus, it is our firm position that Nigeria is legally bound to implement this well founded and universally respected Opinion in its fullness of letters and spirit. And it is expected to do so promptly.

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“The comity of Nations cannot allow Nigeria to pick and choose benefits from international Covenants and Conventions to revile on its duties and obligations accruing from the said international Covenants and Conventions. For her benefit, Nigeria followed through with her claims over Bakassi in the International Court of Justice.

“How did we come to this level? In fact, we must reiterate that impunity and violence are sure signposts of misgovernance and are never allowed in the comity of sovereign nations where intelligence, higher thoughts and diplomacy are the only life wires of good governance and mutual international relationships with other nations.

“This Nigeria cannot afford to squander. It is an opportunity to explore a more reconciliatory path to resolving the Biafra question.

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“In view of all the foregoing, we most respectfully ask you to bring your good Office to bear on the Government of Nigeria to unconditionally release our Client, Nnamdi Kanu within a reasonable time after the receipt of this letter.”

READ ALSO: Kanu: US Lawyer Writes Ohanaeze, Raises Alarm

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2023: Don’t Vote For Killers, Jonathan Warns Nigerians

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Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has warned Nigerians not to vote for those he described as “killers” during the 2023 election.

Jonathan stated this on Sunday in Uyo during a special interdenominational service to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the creation of Akwa Ibom State.

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READ ALSO: 2023: Jonathan Campaigns Against Violence

“In 2023, you must not make the mistake to vote killers.

“Those who will carry knives, guns, and all kinds of gadgets to go and kill people because of politics, are the enemies of society.

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“If you kill to become a leader, you will continue to kill to remain a leader.

“The people will continue to suffer. Make sure that from the House of Assembly to the House of Representatives to Senate to governor, you vote for the right people in Akwa Ibom State,” Jonathan said.

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$23m Abacha Loot: Group Drags Buhari, Malami To Court Over Nigeria’s Agreement With US

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari over the agreement between Nigeria and the United States for the repatriated $23 million stolen by Sani Abacha.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is a respondent in the suit.

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The agreement signed in August followed the $311 million Abacha loot returned by America in 2020.

In suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1700/2022 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is asking the court to direct the President and Malami to make the details public.

The body wants to know the mechanisms put in place to ensure that the repatriated funds are not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.

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SERAP noted that the repatriated $23 million is vulnerable to mismanagement as a substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 remains unaccounted for.

READ ALSO: How The UN Aids The Powerful To Exploit Their Weak

The suit filed by Kolawole Oluwadare and Atinuke Adejuyigbe relies on the Nigerian Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations.

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The lawyers said Nigerians look forward to the court’s favourable judgement as they are entitled to information about the use of public funds.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit which was instituted on Friday.

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Delta Community Presents Akanigboro III To Chief Priests Of Ijaw Kingdoms’ Gods

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Heir to the traditional stool of Akanigboro, King John Falabu Court, Akanigboro III, a priestly stool of ancient Mein Dynasty, has presented himself to the chief priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms.

Akanigboro III, addressing the chief priests at Ezebiri in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, who came from the various Mein kingdoms, including from Mein ancestral home of Ogobiri in Bayelsa State and various Mein Kingdoms in Delta State, said he sought to present himself to them to inform them of his ascension to the ancient stool after much hesitations and refusal to the wish of his ancestors.

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The meeting, which started with prayers to God in recognition of His supremacy over all creatures, featured questions, answers and advice.

Responding to questions of scrutiny from the chief priests, Akanigboro III, who went into historical lane, said: “The Akanigboro stool is a priestly stool and original kingship stool of Mein, progenitor of Mein clan, who was the first on the stool, being Akanigboro I.

“When Mein passed on, his son, Akan, ascended the stool and was Akanigboro II.

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“When Akan passed on, there was a development that stalled the ascension process of a new ruler on the stool, which situation lingered for centuries with the kingdom in disarray without a ruler.

READ ALSO: Boundary Crisis: Delta Communities Sign Peace, Security Agreement

“It was this situation that led the children of Mein to leave our ancestral home, Ogobiri, in the present-day Bayelsa State, and migrated down to the present location called Western Ijaw, where they founded communities and kingdoms. More so, it was that same development that led the heir to the stool to migrate to the present location, Kpakiama and which history is known by all Mein descendants.

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“Now, when I was growing up, I began to receive messages from the ancestors in my dreams that I’m the chosen one to ascend the Akanigboro stool, being a descendant of Ogubo, but I did not heed to the dreams.

“But, as time went on, seers from various places started telling me that I’m the chosen one to ascend the stool.

“With all these signs, I was hesitant until it got to a point I was disturbed by the ancestors which forced me to present issues, first to my family members, then to the people of Ogubo-ebede quarters who, in turn, presented me to Kpakiama urban community that I’m the chosen one and that I’m ready to ascend the stool of Akanigboro.

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“However, the leadership and people of Kpakiama urban community received the news with joy and prayers to bring alive the ancient stool of their progenitor with the assurance that they’re ready to do the needful to ensure the Akanigboro stool takes its rightful place once again.

“The essence of calling you to converge here is to formally inform you that a chosen heir has ascended the ancient stool of Akanigboro. I was supposed to visit all communities in various Mein Kingdoms to inform you, but to make it easier, I opted to call all of you to Ezebiri. More so, I have earlier visited our ancestral home, Ogobiri, before this gathering here”.

In their response, the priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms, speaking through the chief priest, Mirror of the gods, Ezebiri, Chief Godwin Oroupade, thanked him for informing them and said that the Akanigboro stool rules over only three communities in Mein Clan, stressing they had no roles to play in his priestly stool since he’s not ruling over Mein Kingdoms.

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Oroupade, who is the Eseduo of Kerebiri-Mein kingdom and Chairman, Priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms, said: “We have heard you. The Akanigboro stool is well-known but it’s not ruling over all Mein Kingdoms. “Therefore, we’ve no part to play in either confirming or accepting you.

“We, after our deliberations, have resolved to inform you that your stool is not ruling over Mein Kingdoms but it’s ruling over the children of Akan who found three communities, including Kpakiama, Bomadi and Bilabiri.

“So, we advise you to go and consult with your people, and if they accept you and your coronation is made ready, we, chief priests of the gods of Mein Kingdoms will come and celebrate with you.

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READ ALSO: Delta Ijaw Group Backs Tompolo’s Pipeline Surveillance Contract

“Again, I want to emphatically state here that no chief priest is having dominion or rulership over another in Mein Kingdoms.

“We’ve just formed an association where I’m the Chairman and I’m never a superior to any other chief priest, nobody is superior to anybody. We’re all chief priests in our various areas of abode and never a subject to anyone.

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“We threw so many questions at you because of the misinformation about this gathering, as some people alleged that we’re preparing to install you in this gathering, which is unfounded because we’re no part of the Akanigboro stool, hence, we don’t have the powers to do so.

“So, go and consult with the people of Kpakiama, Bomadi and Bilabiri on the way forward for your stool”.

However, Akanigboro III thanked them for the warm reception and advice and promised to speak with his people for the successful resuscitation of the ancient stool.
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