The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, has dragged Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja before the National Judicial Council, NJC, over what it termed as his unsatisfactory and unconstitutional role in consideration and issuance of a highly controversial and unconstitutional order for perpetual detention of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and Director of Radio Biafra, London, in the guise of “investigating him for offenses of terrorism and terrorism financing.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, adjourned till December 17 to rule on the bail application for the detained leader of the “Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu has been in detention for 90 days.
Mr Vincent Obeta, counsel to Kanu had approached the court to grant his client bail.
Obeta said the Department of Security Service, DSS, had abused court process by refusing to honour the bail order of a Magistrates’ Court in Abuja.
Obeta, who filed a fundamental rights suit against the DSS, argued that Kanu’s liberty was being trampled upon when an earlier Magistrates’ Court bail condition was perfected.
90 days in detention today
“My lord, Kanu has spent exactly 90 days in detention today. This action contravenes the Constitution and the African Charter on Human Rights. We have indeed perfected the bail condition as directed by the Magistrate Court but to no avail.
“The lower court has also ordered that Kanu be transferred to the Kuje Prisons but the authority refused to heed the order of the court. That is why we have approached this superior court for justice,” Obeta said.
The prosecutor, Mr Moses Idakwo, asked the court to disregard the bail application by Kanu’s counsel.
Idakwo argued that Kanu should not be granted bail as the allegations against him were terrorism-related.
He said the DSS had evidence of bank accounts owned by Kanu, where monies (in dollars and pound sterling) were used for financing terrorism against Nigeria.
Idakwo also said the applicant had dual citizenship of Britain and Nigeria and therefore could flee justice if granted bail.
He further said the bail conditions issued by a Magistrate Court were yet to be perfected by the applicant.
The judge, Adeniyi Ademola, said “having listened to both parties, I shall be ruling on the application on December 17.’
Enemies of progress
Meantime, the South-South Ijaw have described the pro-Biafra protests, which turned bloody recently, resulting in the killing of several persons and destruction of property across the South-East and part of South-South, as an attempt by enemies of progress to set Nigeria on fire.
Joseph Evah in a statement, said that the activities of the brains behind the various protests clearly showed that the organisers “have hidden agenda because of Mr. Kanu.
“We are aware that the apex body in Igbo land (Ohanaeze) has stated that Biafra is dead and buried.
“We are also aware that when the former President of the defunct Biafra, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu died, he was given full military honour by the Federal Government, and when Ojukwu was alive, he also contested the presidency of Nigeria to show his faith in the country.
“We are also aware that Kanu and Ojukwu are peaceful people. Therefore, the current threat to peace through killing and maiming of innocent persons is gradually leading to ethnic and religious crises that can destabilize the country.”
Meanwhile, Intersociety said its decision to drag Justice Ademola to the NJC, through its Chairman and Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, which was supported by 10 other civil society groups, under the aegis of South East based Coalition of Human Rights Organisations, SBCHROs, was as a result of on-going rampage in unconstitutional law and court orders as it concerned the arrest, detention and extra-judicial detention of Kanu.
In a statement, yesterday in Onitsha, Anambra State, the rights group said it had also written to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, AGF, Mallam Abubakar Malami, SAN, drawing his immediate attention to the gross inconsistency of Section 27 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended; with Section 35 (4) (a) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under right to personal liberty; for the purpose of sending an executive bill to the National Assembly for immediate repealing or expunging of the unconstitutional provision in the said Terror Act of 2011 as amended.
Terrorism Prevention Act
The statement by Emeka Umeagbalasi said: “Our writing the duo of the NJC and the AGF is in recognition of powers and functions accorded them by the 1999 Constitution. We had in the letter, dated December 13, 2015, drawn their attention to relevant Sections of the 1999 Constitution; upon which the gross inconsistency of Section 27 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act and the controversial court detention order were found brazenly and rapaciously unconstitutional or grossly incoherent with the 1999 Constitution.”
The statement added: “Some of the Constitutional provisions under reference are Section 1 (1) that states “this Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria”; Section 1 (3): “if any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.”
“Others are Section 4 (5) of the same Constitution that directs: “if any law enacted by the House of Assembly of a State is inconsistent with any law validly made by the National Assembly, the law made by the National Assembly shall prevail and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.”
Three bibles of fundamental legal knowledge
“We reminded the NJC and the AGF that every judge in Nigeria is mandatorily kitted with three bibles of fundamental legal knowledge of: (a) rule of law and its two cardinal pillars of audi altarem partem (listen to or hear the other side) and nemo judex in causa sua (refrain from being a judge in your own case); (b) the 1999 Constitution; and (c) the Fundamental Human Rights Chapter in the Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. That these three bibles of fundamental legal knowledge or three weapons of a Bencher also defy mental senility; and that the three weapons of a Bencher also serve as his or her daily chewing stick or tooth brush; to be used and applied at all times and in all adjudicative circumstances. They were reminded as well that a judge of the Federal or State High Court is also mandatorily under the judicial oath and the oath of constitutional allegiance; as contained in the Seventh Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.
“On the issue of accusation leveled against citizen Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB of their involvement in acts of terrorism and terrorism financing, we frowned at such bogus criminal accusation against political citizens expressing their political thoughts peacefully and non violently. We further reminded the NJC and the AGF of dangers of frivolously labelling citizens as terrorists and terrorism financiers; outside the spirit and letters of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended; which is punishable upon judicial conviction with death penalty and life imprisonment; as well as life imprisonment for offenses of conspiracy, aiding and abetting terrorism.
“We complained bitterly that what surprised and still surprises us was (is) how the Department of State Security, DSS came about its allegation of terrorism and terrorism financing against a group and individual(s) expressing political thoughts peacefully and non-violently, even when the same Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended clearly stated that activities of political parties and expression of political thoughts do not amount to acts of terrorism.
“We also observed that unconstitutional laws and court orders are on rampage in Nigeria and condemned strongly the order ex-parte issued on November 10, 2015 by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja for 90 days and above detention of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu on phantom allegation and investigation of his involvement in terrorism and terrorism financing; which we saw as not only a height of miscarriage of justice and brazen affront to the sanctity of the judiciary, but also threats to rule of law and the fundamental human rights of the detained citizen. We also saw it as a coup against the supremacy of the 1999 Constitution and grave disrespect to the Fundamental Human Rights Chapter of the 1999 Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
“We therefore, hold that the judge had no excuse over his failure to identify or take the judicial notice of the brazen inconsistency of Section 27 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended with Section 35 (4) (a) (b) of the 1999 Constitution. We asked: where lies the judge’s sense of judgment and discretionary powers in the instant case?
“We call on the AGF: to as a matter of uttermost immediacy and; inexcusably prepare and send an executive bill to the National Assembly for repealing of the unconstitutional Section 27 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended in 2013; highlighted above, owing to its grave inconsistency with Section 35 (4) (a) (b) of the 1999 Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
“The AGF also urged to critically study other provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended and ensure that all of such provisions are brought in tandem or made to be consistent with the 1999 Constitution.”