Obiano Receives Army Committee On Human Rights Violation

Anambra State Governor, Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano.

A nine man Special Commission on Human Rights Violation Committee set up by the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, was in Anambra state on a fact finding mission, to ascertain the roles played by the Military during protests by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in 2016. 

Governor Willie Obiano received them at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, and listened to the leader of the team, Retired Major General Tijani Ahmed, briefing him on their mission.

Mr Ahmed explained that based on the accusations leveled against the Nigerian Army by the Amnesty International of violating human rights and committing war crimes in their dealing with insurgents in the northeast, Militants in the Niger Delta and IPOB in the southeast, the Chief of Army Staff had set up the committee to find out the truth or otherwise of the allegations.

He said, “The allegations made round the media, in the papers and specifically, the one that was made prominent was the one by the Amnesty International where allegations of extrajudicial killing, forced disappearance, torture and all manner of allegations were made against the soldiers.

“That’s why the Chief of Army Staff set up this committee to investigate and find out exactly what happened”.

For Governor Willie Obiano, there would not have been issues with the peaceful protests of the activist but for the hijacking of the exercise by hoodlums that wreaked havoc.

He suggested to the committees to reach out to the then Commissioner of Police who is now the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone Nine, Mr Hassan Karma and Colonel Isah Abdullahi, who was the then Commandant of 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, for the full details of all that happened in which officially, no death was communicated to him.

According to Obiano, “When you start some exercise, if you are not careful, it will be hijacked and when it is hijacked, it will change complexion from what was originally planned.

“So both IPOB and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), in my view, they comported themselves very well, but the challenge is that we have these hoodlums, we are talking about that joined the match and tried to use the opportunity to loot and do other things.

“I’m sure in the course of your investigation you will get all the details”.

IPOB Trial: Kanu Asks Judge To Disqualify Himself

KanuThe self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, and his co-defendants, David Nwawusi and Benjamin Madubugwu have asked Justice James Tsoho of a Federal High Court, Abuja to disqualify himself from trying them on the six-count charge, bordering on treason preferred against them by the federal government.

The defendants, in a motion cited the manifestation of bias against the court, which is also a subject of investigation by the National Judicial Council against the judge.

They alleged that the court had, in the course of its ruling on April 26 2016, openly expressed serious prejudice against a member of the defence team, adding that it will be in the interest of justice for the application to be granted, to preserve the sanctity of the judicial office.

The prosecution counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, in his response to the motion, accused the defence of frustrating the trial.

Meanwhile, the second defendant in the case, Benjamin Madubugwu, has engaged the services of a new counsel, Amobi Nzelu, leaving Chuks Muoma to represent the first and the third defendants, Kanu and David Nwawusi respectively.

With the new development, Justice Tsoho, adjourned the case to September 26, 2016 to hear the defendants’ motion and for trial.

IPOB Leader Expresses Lack Of Confidence In Judicial Process

Nnamdi KanuThe leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, has protested his trial before Justice Mohammed Ahmed of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Kanu, who is the founder of Radio Biafra, refused to take plea on a six count charge of treason, importation of illegal good and possession of fire arms filed against him by the Department of State Services on the ground that will not get fair trial.

Kanu, who was docked with two others says he lacks confidence in the court because information available to him indicated that he will not get a fair trial before the judge.

According go to him, he will not sacrifice the due process of the law founded in the principles of natural justice upon the altar of speedy release from detention.

“I will rather remain in detention than subject myself to a trial that I know amounts to perversion of justice”, he said.

Reacting to Mr Kanu’s protest, the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Mohammed Diri, asked the court to discountenance the objection on the ground that the accused person ought to come before the court with a proper application.

He also adds that such a protest can only be made after an accused person takes his plea.

But his counsel, Mr Vincent Obetta, stood behind his client and asked the court to oblige his client’s request.

In a short ruling Justice Ahmed Mohammed said he agreed with the accused person’s protest, especially as it bothers on the issue of confidence in a judicial process.

Justice Ahmed said that since the confidence of the court has been questioned, he will return the case file to the Chief Justice of the Federal High Court for further action.

Obiano Tasks Anambra Traditional Rulers On Sustainable Development

Obiano Tasks Anambra Traditional Rulers On Sustainable DevelopmentGovernor Willie Obiano has tasked the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council to ensure that the developmental strides of his administration are sustained in their various communities.

The commission was given during the opening ceremony of the fourth edition of the annual seminar of the Traditional Rulers’ Council held at Government House in Awka, the Anambra State capital, South-east Nigeria.

Governor Obiano praised the traditional rulers for their ability to maintain unity and steady support for his administration.

He urged them to remain focused and ensure that the developmental strides his administration has brought to bear are enjoyed and sustained in the 177 communities in the state especially in the area of security.

The Governor asked them to articulate and present to him, a resolution on how to approach the issue of the agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) with a view to ensuring permanent peace and stability in the Igbo nation.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Council and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, commended the Governor for his support to the traditional institution as well as his giant strides in the development of the state in the area of education, health and youth empowerment.

He said that the seminar would help refresh their minds on their roles in their communities and urged his colleagues to adapt to the changes of the 21st century to help move Anambra State and Nigeria forward.

The Obi of Onitsha also expressed concerns on the agitation of the IPOB and the questions that had raged on the minds of the traditional rulers in the state. He concluded that caution, instead of rash judgment would be applied.

The seminar is expected to help deepen the knowledge of the traditional leaders on their functions and roles in their communities as well as sharpen their minds on contemporary issues on nation building.

The two-day seminar with the theme: “Impact of the Four Pillars of Economic Development and their Enablers in the Development of the Communities of Anambra State, the Role of the Traditional Rulers”, also featured the launch of a book consisting of seminar papers presented in previous seminars and conferences of the Council in the past three years.

Pro-Biafra Protesters March In Awka Despite IG’s Order

MASSOB-IPOB-Demonstrate-for-BiafraIn spite of the warning by the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase against the planned one million-man march for Biafra, over 10, 000 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Saturday, November 7, 2015 stormed Awka, the Anambra State capital in continuation of their peaceful protest over the detention of their leader Nnamdi Kanu.

The crowd that trekked from Asaba in Delta State, got into Awka around 6PM and according to the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ali Okechukwu, the march has been peaceful.

Mr. Okechukwu said the police and every other security agency in the state are at alert to ensure the situation does not degenerate into crisis and disturb the peace of the state.

In a strongly-worded statement on Friday, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, said that the protesters, from the south-eastern region, would be provoking the law if they do not stop such protests or call.

He particularly made reference to the planned ‘one-million march’ for the actualisation of Biafra, which he said was illegal and asked everyone not to participate.

“Information available to the Nigeria police indicates plans by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to embark on ill-advised protests, using dangerous weapons across some south eastern states.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this is unlawful and no one should attempt to test the law,” the police warned in the statement.

He reminded the youths that the law prohibiting the unlawful possession of firearms was still in force.

He also warned against any attempt to unleash mayhem on innocent and law-abiding Nigerians.

He said that anyone arrested in connection with the planned march would be appropriately dealt with.

Before the warning of the Inspector General of Police, hundreds of youths took to the street in Asaba, the capital of Delta State, blocking the major express way leading to the east.

At Summit Junction in Asaba, the group chanted war songs, calling for the restoration of Biafra and demanding the release of a certain Nnamdi Kalu who they claimed was in detention at the Department of State Security office.