Bruce Fein, an American lawyer, and international council to Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has threatened to drag the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to the International Court of Justice, over what he termed gross violation of the rights of his client by the Nigerian government.
Fein who spoke to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, after Kanu’s trial was adjourned to January 19, also vowed to appeal to the United States Congress to consider sanctions against Nigeria.
The lawyer who specializes in constitutional and international law, with numerous articles on constitutional issues for The Washington Times, Slate.com, The New York Times, The Huffington Post and Legal Times, was one of the lawyers that were denied access to the court during Kanu’s trial on Wednesday.
He noted that he has been denied access to Mr. Kanu five times, which according to him, is a gross violation of his rights.
“I’m Nnamdi Kanu’s international lawyer. I am from the United States. Today was the 5th time I was told I could not enter the courtroom despite a previous court order that Nnamdi Kanu could have access to any three persons he wanted to,” Fein said.
“I actually had the chance to talk to him briefly on his way to the courtroom and it is clear, in these five times, that they are targeting me in particular; that is the reason why this proceeding did not hold today.”
Fein said he had seen enough evidence to take the matter to international, since, according to him, it was obvious that Nigerian courts are compromised.
“I am here to tell the Nigerians and the international community that I am taking this matter to the international tribunals, because it is clear that the Nigerian tribunals are compromised.
“This is an international working group in Geneva, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and I am going to the United States Congress where I will be urging that sanctions be considered against Nigeria for gross violations of fundamental human rights.
“There is no human right more fundamental than the right of an accused to access a lawyer in a criminal case. It is enshrined in Nigerian constitution; it is enshrined international covenant on civil and political rights; It is in the universal declaration of human Rights. It is the basic principle of civilization. If you are accused of a crime, you should have access to a council and he has been denied access to me five times.
“I am here because there are huge international law issues that are present in Kanu’s case. We all know about his kidnapping in Kenya; the extraordinary rendition to Nigeria being one of them. So, I’m here because I am an international expert, to provide more enlightenment on what legal issues that are present here. I’m not here because I want to try to create a problem or to create some kind of irritation, and yet I have been denied access to him five times.
“I am not a threat. I have not acted in any way that is disruptive. I have been cautious, provided my identities, but on each occasion, they would say, Mr. Fein, you cannot visit him. I believe that I am the reason they locked us out of the court today.”