Barr Aloy Ejimakor, special counsel to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, says he will sue anybody or groups linking violent enforcement of sit-at-home orders in the South East to his clients.
Ejimakor issued the warning via his verified Twitter handle. He tweeted, “I consider it my core duty to my clients (MNK & IPOB) to say this: MNK & IPOB are still committed to the principles of non-violence. As from today, if you publicly accuse IPOB of using violence to enforce the Sit-At-Home, prepare to meet me in court to produce your evidence.”
Adadareporters reports that business activities are declining in the South-East parts of the country following the hijack of Monday sit-at-home orders by some miscreants.
The order was instituted by IPOB following the arrest of Mr Kanu in Kenya, and his later rendition to Nigeria. Kanu’s IPOB is seeking the secession of old Eastern Region from Nigeria’s super structure over alleged marginalisation. Biafra’s actualisation struggle began in 1967 when former Gov of Eastern Region, Col Emeka Ojukwu, led the people of the region in a three-year liberation struggle.
Since the war ended, the people of the old Eastern Region, especially the South-East geopolitical zone, claim they have been playing a second fiddle in the Nigerian polity. They claim, among others, that despite the nation’s federal character principles that the zone has not produced the country’s president.
Some states in the zone, such as Enugu, Imo and Anambra, reportedly pointed accusing fingers to IPOB as being behind the skirmishes associated with days designated as sit-at-home.
Our correspond reports that IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful, and Kanu’s brother, Kanunta, earlier cancelled the orders, urging concerned citizens to go about their businesses. Nnamdi Kanu, through his messages via Ejimakor, also urges his supporters to maintain peace.
Johnson Ogbu, a commentator on national issues, said the roles being played by the styled leader of IPOB, Simon Ekpa, is working against the original concept of the project.
He said, “Ekpa’s orders seem contradictory to those of the mainstream IPOB. South-East governors should come out and address this ugly trend. They should avoid blame game.”
Mr Larry Oguego, national coordinator, Human Rights Volunteer Corps of Nigeria (HRVC), in an interview, regretted the dwindling fortunes caused by sit-at-home in the South East.
Quoting him, “We are demonstrating to the world that the Igbo spirit is gone. The approach is wrong. We should go beyond issuing orders or deploying military and police to solve this problem.
“We should review how we got here. Why holding someone who the court has released? The sooner our South-east leaders come together and find solutions to this, the better for us. Sit-at-home is an Igbo phenomena and not a state matter.”
Recall that the Court of Appeal, Abuja, last year, described the manner Kanu was arrested and brought to Nigeria as extra-ordinary rendition, and discharged and acquitted him. However, former president Muhammadu Buhari refused to honour the ruling, instead he sought a stay of execution at the Supreme Court.
Kanu is being detained over alleged running a proscribed group, jumping bail and treason.
Otisi Eze, a lawyer, said, “All these amount to nothing. Kanu has the right to self-determination as enshrined in the African Charter, which Nigeria is a signatory to. A High Court of Umuahia also ruled that he did not jump bail in 2017, rather the invasion of his home while on bail violated his rights. IPOB is also a registered body in the UK. Its proscription in Nigeria is also being contested in court. Nigeria should not be lawless.”