An Igbo think tank, Cultural Credibility Development Initiative, has called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to consider lifting ongoing military siege in the Southeast, which according to it, continues to result in loss of lives and in the region.
The group which made the demand in a statement on Wednesday, noted that since the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who is the real reason for the military operation in the region, has been arrested, there is no longer any reason to continue to carry on with it.
In the statement by its president, Chief Goddy Uwazurike and secretary, Steve Nwabuko, the group, however, maintained that Kanu’s fundamental rights should be respected even as he is custody.
“The attention of Cultural Credibility Development Initiative has trailed the announcement, on 29 June 2021, by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami, SAN, of the Federal Government’s re-arrest of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),” the statement said.
“Cultural Credibility Initiative also noted that details of his arrest and the rights accorded him have remained in the realms of speculations.
“While his prompt re-arraignment in court and the stated date of 26 July 2021 to commence trial may signal alignment with the rule of law, there are unanswered questions.
“How was Mazi Nnamdi Kanu brought back to Nigeria? Were they in accordance with International laws and conventions? Mallam Malami was silent on these.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has fundamental rights under Section 31 of the Nigerian Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. The Federal Government should comply with both.
“With the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the supposed reason for the increased siege to the South East, Cultural Credibility Development Initiative expects remarkable reduction in the security presence that is resulting in loss of lives in the South East.
“Cultural Credibility Development Initiative looks forward to a trial that aligns with human rights and the freedom of the judiciary to make its decisions on point of law. Security agents should desist from harrassment of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s associates, including his lawyers.
“Cultural Credibility Development Initiative is committed to peace, but notes that no peace can be founded within injustice. As Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, of blessed memory would say, “Justice must not only be done but must be seen to have been done”.
‘The media, civil society organisations, and the Nigerian Bar Association should be fully present at the trials.”