The leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has petitioned the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACOHPR), asking it to stop the Federal Government from further violations and harassment against his person and IPOB members.
The petition, filed on his behalf by his counsel, Mr. Aloy Ejimakor, was dated December 5, 2017 and entitled, ‘Communication Brought Pursuant to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights’.
Addressed to the Secretary of the Commission, it listed Prof. Uzodimma Nwala, Chinedu Njoku, Greg Nwadike, Carol Munday, Jeremiah Chukwuokolo and two others as witnesses to the alleged violations.
It reads in part: “The declaration that IPOB is a terrorist organisation and that its members commit terrorist acts has empowered and emboldened the Nigerian army and other security agencies, acting under the colour of law, to harass, intimidate, arrest or even kill or torture IPOB members and any member of the Igbo ethnic group suspected to be an IPOB member.
“Nnamdi Kanu is in imminent danger of being shot and killed on sight by Nigerian security forces still at-large at various checkpoints. They are on reconnaissance and in cordon and search operation in the environs and outlying areas of Nnamdi Kanu’s homestead at Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State of Nigeria and at checkpoints in all the five states of the South East of Nigeria that border the wider geographical area of Umuahia where Nnamdi Kanu was last seen alive.
“Monies, bank accounts, other monetary instruments, chattels and real properties belonging to Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and its members are in imminent danger of being confiscated by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
It recounts: “On or about September 12, 2017, and lasting till about September 15, 2017, the Nigerian army surrounded and began to launch a series of armed attacks/invasion of Nnamdi Kanu’s home. The army used live bullets and other lethal munitions in the course of the attacks. Several people including Nnamdi Kanu, his parents, siblings, children, women, the elderly, and numerous visitors were at the home during the attacks. All occupants were trapped in the premises during the attacks that lasted two days.
“At the end, Nnamdi Kanu’s home was badly damaged, several people were killed. Others were wounded. The Nigerian army ‘captured’ several people alive and took them to an unknown location. Since after the attacks, Nnamdi Kanu has not been seen or heard from, either in public or by those who normally would have heard from him. And the Nigerian army has refused to disclose whether he was killed, wounded or taken into their custody.
“During the course of the attack, the Nigerian army, in a published statement, declared IPOB a terrorist organisation, apparently to justify its indiscriminate use of lethal force against Nnamdi Kanu and members of IPOB in Umuahia, Abia State and other states of the South East of Nigeria, which the Federal Republic of Nigeria has, without lawful purpose, subjected to military occupation since September 10, 2017.”
The petition adds: “However, on September 21, 2017, Justice Kafarati of the Nigerian Federal High Court, Abuja, made an ex parte order (without prior notice to IPOB), declaring IPOB a terrorist organisation and further ordering its proscription pursuant to an ex parte application brought before the court on September 20, 2017 by the Attorney-General of Nigeria.