The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has accused the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (ECCJ) of lacking the courage to deliver justice dispassionately on the case of the abuse of human rights being meted against its detained leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu had, on March 2nd, 2016, filed a lawsuit at the ECCJ against the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the issue of violations of his fundamental human rights and sought enforcement of same rights as well as compensations from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
At the October sitting of the ECCJ, the case was adjourned to November 8, 2016. When the case came up on November 8, the presiding Judge, Micha Wright, again adjourned it to February 9th, 2017 for ruling.
“On the 17th of January 2017 and without waiting for the February 9th, 2017 date to come, the ECCJ again adjourned the date of the ruling to March 7, 2017, with a caveat that even the March date is subject to further adjournments.
Wondering why the continuous adjournments, IPOB said yesterday that information at its disposal showed that ECCJ had jurisdiction to determine cases of violation of human rights that occurred in any member state.
Quoting Article 38 of the Statute of International Court of Justice on the Treaty, Conventions, Protocols, and Regulations, which was adopted by ECOWAS, IPOB accused ECCJ of being afraid to give decisive judgment on the case of Nnamdi Kanu versus Federal Government of Nigeria.
Spokespersons for IPOB, Mr. Emma Nmezu, a lawyer, and Dr. Clifford Iroanya, in a statement made available to Saturday Vanguard said: “Why are the Judges postponing the date for the ruling in perpetuity, if they have nothing to hide?
“Why will it take more than one year to hear and deliver judgment on a simple case of violation of fundamental human rights? Why the multiple adjournments at the stage of delivering judgment?
“How come the cases of Sambo Dasuki and Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, which bothered on the same fundamental human rights violation, were started and concluded within six months? Is it because Nnamdi Kanu is a Christian or is it because he is from Biafraland and not from the Northern part of Nigeria?
“We assert that the behaviour of the ECCJ on this occasion is encouraging tyranny and abuse of human rights.
“The ECCJ is a court of law and, therefore, required by convention and statute to interpret the law. Shying away from delivering a judgment in this case is not only repugnant, but is an abdication of responsibility.
“Regional and national courts in other continents such as North America and Europe are known to be courageous, impartial, and impervious to ethno religious influences even when a case is between an individual/group and the State.
“IPOB is appalled that the ECCJ has reneged on its roles and responsibilities. We assert that there is absolutely no reason for the ECCJ to dilly-dally in making a ruling expeditiously in the case of violations of fundamental human rights instituted against Nigeria since March 2016.
“We the IPOB wish to express our utter dismay and disappointment with the ECCJ. We believe that the ECCJ lacks the courage and impartial mindset needed to deliver justice promptly in the case instituted by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, hence the ECCJ resorted to adjournments after adjournments.
“To this extent, the ECCJ has failed to live up to expectations and we do not expect justice from its court, given numerous adjournments that have made a mockery of the regional judicial system.”
IPOB said the ambivalence and the seemingly compromised attitude of the ECCJ was one of the factors propelling its members to seek the restoration of the nation of Biafra, adding that Biafra, would show the world that it would not settle for dismal and cowardly performance when it came to the dispassionate and timely dispensation of justice.