Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, has sued President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged violation of his human rights. Kanu, in the suit filed at the High Court of Enugu State, represents himself and IPOB, with the federal government, President Muhammadu Buhari, attorney general of the federation, governor of Ebonyi State and Southeast Governors’ Forum as respondents.
Kanu wants a declaration that the practical application of the Terrorism Prevention Act and the executive or administrative action of the respondents which directly led to the proscription of IPOB and its listing as a terrorist group is ‘illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement’ of his ‘fundamental right not to be subjected to any disabilities or restrictions on the basis of his ethnicity as enshrined and guaranteed under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and his fundamental rights as enshrined under Articles 2,3,19 &20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Enforcement and Ratification) Act’.
Kanu, in the suit filed by his special counsel, Barr Aloy Ejimakor, wants the court to determine, among others, that self-determination is not a crime and thus cannot be used as a basis to arrest, detain and prosecute him and members of IPOB.
Other prayers of Kanu include, “An order of injunction restraining and prohibiting the respondents from taking any further step in any criminal prosecutions of the applicant and members of IPOB on the basis of the said proscription of IPOB and its listing as a terrorist group.
“An order mandating and compelling the respondents to forthwith release the applicant and all members of IPOB from detention and to desist from any further arrests, detentions, prosecutions and extrajudicial killings of the members of the IPOB.
“An order mandating and compelling the respondents, jointly or severally, to issue official letter (s) of apology to the applicant and members of IPOB for the infringement of their said fundamental rights; and publication of said letter(s) of apology in three national dailies.
“An order mandating and compelling the respondents to, jointly or severally, pay the sum of N25,000,000,000.00 (Twenty-Five Billion Naira) to the applicant, and the sum of N500,000,000,000.00 (Five Hundred Billion Naira) to members of IPOB, being monetary damages claimed by the applicant and members of IPOB against the respondents jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property and other damages suffered by the applicant and members of IPOB as a result of the infringements of their fundamental rights by the respondents.”
The reliefs are sought on the grounds that, “The applicant is entitled to his fundamental rights not to be subjected to any disabilities or restrictions on the basis of his ethnicity as enshrined and guaranteed under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and his fundamental rights enumerated under Articles 2,3,19 &20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Enforcement and Ratification) Act.
“That unless the respondents are restrained by an order of this Honorable Court, the applicant will continue to suffer the infringement of his fundamental rights.”
Ejimakor in the suit prayed the court to grant the application to restore Kanu’s fundamental rights, thereby entitling him to remedies for the said infringements and save the applicant from being subjected to further infringements.
Recall that the South-East Governors’ Forum proscribed all activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. The governors said the ban would be totally enforced in their respective states. The 11-point communique issued after the meeting was read by chairman of the Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.
The date for hearing is yet to be fixed.
Kanu is being detained at the custody of the Department of the State Services over alleged running a proscribed group, treason and jumping bail.