Nnamdi Kanu heads for ECOWAS court, blames Buhari for bail denial

Nnamdi Kanu

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued detention since last October.

Mr. Kanu is accused, along with two others, Benjamin Madubgwu and James Nwawuisi, of treason.

He has been in the custody of the State Security Service since he was arrested on October 14, 2015.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Mr. Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments have contributed to Mr. Kanu being denied bail by the same court that granted him bail in December 2015.

“After Kanu was granted bail on December 17, the president was heard saying at the presidential media chart that he will not leave the prison cell, for any reason. That bail was made known to Federal Government on 18th December 2015 but they failed to grant the bail,” the lawyer said.

“Only few days ago, he also went into the issue of whether or not Mr. Kanu should be granted bail when he visited Katsina.

“Having taken him to the court, they should allow the court of law to determine the matter,” Mr. Ejiofor stated.

He added that the matter which has been taken before the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West Africa, ECOWAS, is aimed at addressing the abuse of Mr. Kanu’s rights.

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Citing article 9 (2) and (3) of the Community Court of Justice Act, Mr. Ejiofor said his client reserves the right to seek redress where an abuse of fundamental rights has been detected at any stage of a case already in a federal court of law.

“Once there is violation of human rights, the ECOWAS court has to prevail,” he said.

Also speaking, a member of Mr. Kanu’s legal team, Okere Kingdom, said IPOB has filed a complain at the community court to seek damages for the lives of those lost during rallies by its members, after they were attacked by military men.

“On February 19, 2016 officers from the Nigerian Military killed over 50 harmless members of IPOB who gathered in Aba, Abia state, in secondary school to pray for their leader whose trial was scheduled to come up on that day.

“This is in addition to about 13 others during a similar gathering,” said Mr. Kingdom.

He said IPOB has launched a formal complaint for damages and N100 million to be paid to each family of deceased IPOB members while N50 million damages is demanded for injured members of the group.

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