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UN Order: FG under pressure to release Kanu



• Nigeria risks diplomatic sanctions, say Muoma, Ejimakor

The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) is upbeat that its leader, Nnamdi Kanu would soon be a free man, going by the recent directive by the United Nations to the Nigerian Government.

Kanu, who is currently facing trial, has been in the detention facility of the Department of State Service (DSS) in Abuja, the nation’s capital for about 14 months after his interception and rendition from Kenya by the Nigeria authorities.

But the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in its decision contained in opinion No. 25/22, has reportedly asked the Nigerian Government to release the separatist unconditionally and compensate him for the abuse and torture he has and continues to suffer.

Kanu’s international legal counsel, Mr Bruce Fein and Prof. Rachael Murray, who were engaged by his family as well as the IPOB leader’s special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, initiated the efforts leading to the UN directive.

The family of the embattled IPOB leader also hired two top legal firms, which filed a kidnapping case against Nigeria in the United Kingdom.

Bindmans and Doughty Street Chambers, the law firms defending Kanu had said in a statement: “At the time of the transfer, Mr Kanu was not in possession of his British passport. The transfer by Nigerian authorities, without identification documents and with the aim of rendition to justice, amounts to extraordinary rendition and is unlawful under international law.”

Speaking on the latest development, Kanu’s special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor and Chairman of Igbo Lawyers Association (ILA), Chief Chuks Muoma, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said Nigeria was bound to obey the UN directive. Muoma said it will be an international scandal if Nigeria refuses to obey the UN directive for Kanu’s release.

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He further said the country might be sanctioned if it turns a deaf ear to the UN Human Rights body’s order stressing that it was dependent on whatever decision the body will recommend to its General Assembly for approval against Nigeria.

The former IPOB lawyer explained that a refusal will amount to disobeying the world body, to which Nigeria is a member, emphasizing that if one belongs to an organisation, he or she will abide by its rules and regulations.

“It will be international scandal to disobey a directive from such an organisation like the United Nations, so it has to carry out its membership obligations by obeying to release and pay adequate compensation to Kanu, as directed,” Muoma said.

It was learnt that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which rendered the opinion on Kanu as a quasi-judicial body that has the legal mandate of the United Nations to consider and adjudicate human rights petitions against member nations of the UN.

Flowing from the above, Ejimakor argued that failure of Nigeria to release Kanu will trigger a nasty diplomatic conflict with the UN that may convulse the country.

He explained: “Further, the opinion is legally binding on Nigeria because the decision is based primarily on human rights standards set by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Nigeria is a signatory.

“Additionally, Nigeria, in addition to ratifying the UN Charter, has also ratified other human rights instruments that require it to comply with opinions like this. Ratification is a means by which a nation makes itself subject to international laws and treaties. And by the provisions of Section 12 of Nigeria Constitution and a plethora of decisions by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, ratification makes Nigeria subject to whatever it ratified.

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“It goes without saying therefore, that as a bonafide member of the United Nations, Nigeria is subject to decisions issuing from all UN bodies. Nigeria is thus duty-bound to implement this decision in its letters and spirit. And it is expected to do so promptly.”

Speaking further on whether the Nigerian Government has taken any actions and what the next line of action would be if the directive is ignored, Ejimakor said he believed that something was being done.

“Given that the decision called for the ‘immediate’ release of Kanu, I wager that the government is already giving it consideration. Nonetheless, if compliance doesn’t happen within a reasonable time, we will consider the many options we can employ to compel compliance.”

“It is never in contemplation that a responsible member of United Nations (such as Nigeria) will thumb its nose at the UN. But wherever such had happened in the past, even so rarely, it opened up a host of legal and diplomatic consequences. It not only brought the international legal and diplomatic order to bear aggressively but the domestic legal regime as well,” he stated.

Saturday Sun was informed that the Opinion, which was issued on July 20, 2022, was forwarded to the Governments of Nigeria and Kenya on July 22, while the advance copy was released to Kanu’s counsel the next day. (Saturday Sun)

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Tribunal verdict, victory for democracy and Enugu, says Gov Mbah



Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah

…extends hands of fellowship to opposition
…restates commitment to campaign promises

Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has lauded the decision of the Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which dismissed the petitions of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and the Labour Party (LP) candidates challenging his victory in the March 18, 2023 governorship election, describing the decision as victory for democracy and the people of Enugu State.

Dr. Mbah, who also extended hands of fellowship to the opposition candidates and their political parties, said the task to build Enugu remained a collective one, adding that he was committed to working with all, irrespective of political persuasions.

The tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Akano, had earlier in the day dismissed the petitions of the governorship candidate of the PRP, Chris Agu, and the candidate of the LP, Chijioke Edeoga.

Addressing the state, at the Government House, Enugu, Mbah said: “This is another memorable day in the anal of our dear state, as the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal affirmed the mandate, which you freely gave to us on 18th of March this year.

“This is victory for Ndi Enugu. It is also victory for democracy.

“It is a victory for massive development for Ndi Enugu. It is a victory for exponential growth for Ndi Enugu. It is a victory for Enugu’s greatness. It is a victory for the ban on Monday sit-at-home. It is also victory for our determination to restore water in all your homes in the next 68 days”.

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While thanking God for making the victory possible, Dr. Mbah also commended the tribunal for painstakingly dissecting the petitions and “for coming out with fair and just decision that resonates with Ndi Enugu”.

According to him, “the verdict has further strengthened our confidence in the judiciary as the temple of justice and the last hope of the common man”.

Extending hands of fellowship to his opponents, Mbah said: “There is time for everything under the sun. There is time to strive and time to unite. We all put ourselves forward to serve Ndi Enugu. The people have spoken and the tribunal has also affirmed. If service was the motivation, then it is time to rise above partisanship and come together because there is so much work to be done.

“Our arms are wide open and I beckon on my brothers, who ran this race with us, to join us in the onerous task of building a new Enugu State of our dreams.

“In the same vein, I enjoin all our supporters to be magnanimous in victory. Politics is over. Governance began on 29th May when we were inaugurated. It is time to unite”.

Governor Mbah, who reiterated his resolve to deliver on his campaign promises, further stressed that the tribunal’s decision was an elixir to do more, and urged the people to hold him to account on those promises.

“Once more, I immensely thank the good people of Enugu State, who not only believed in us, but also vested their mandate in us. Above all also above, they have stood by us every step of the way.

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“I want to assure them that I will work for them with every fibre of my being. I stand by every campaign promise I made as espoused in our Statement of Purpose. I also stand by the Citizens Charter that I executed on my first day in office. The Enugu people should hold me to account. I will not let them down”, he concluded.

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Gunmen kill ASP, Inspector in Enugu



Gunmen yet to be identified have allegedly killed two police officers in Enugu State in an ambush.

The officers were killed when the hoodlums ambushed a mobile police patrol team Wednesday evening.

The incident happened at about 7:30 pm along the Udi-Ozalla Road as the Operation Restore Peace Enugu team was on routine patrol.

The victims were identified as Danjuma Joseph, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and Inspector Abu Elamaje.

The source hinted that they were rushed to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku-Ozalla for treatment but were confirmed dead by doctors on duty.

Another officer, Inspector Udeme Udomeng, who sustained bullet wounds, was treated and discharged.

Daily Sun quoted a source in the command as saying that “MINE and other command tactical teams reinforced at the area of incident on cordon and search operation for possible arrest of suspects. Further development shall be communicated.”

It is unclear whether the policemen were killed by the kidnappers who have been on rampage in different parts of the State or another set of hoodlums.

The Advocate reports that about eight security operatives were ambushed and killed in Imo State last weekend.

Efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Enugu State Police Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe on the development was unsuccessful by press time as he did not answer the calls.

A text message sent to him has also not been replied as of the time of filing this report.

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BREAKING: Tribunal dismisses Edeoga, LP’s petition, affirms Mbah’s election as Enugu Governor



Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah

…Edeoga’s petition lacks merit

The Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu has upheld the election of Dr. Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 18 election in the state.

Chijioke Edeoga of the Labour Party (LP) had approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration on the grounds that Mbah wasn’t qualified to stand for the election.

He alleged that he forged his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC certificate and cases of over-voting in Udenu, Nkanu East and Enugu East local government areas.

The Tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Murayo Akano dismissed all grounds of petition saying his petition lacked merit.

The panel held that NYSC isn’t a requirement for contesting for the office of the Governor and there’s no where that the NYSC Certificate was attached to the documents Mbah submitted to INEC by the respondent.

On the issue of forging NYSC Certificate, the panel discountenanced all the evidences by the DSS, NYSC official and others because they weren’t in compliance with paragraph 4, sub-section 5D of the evidence act.

Only the witness of the pw26 which was described as a hearsay by the panel and those not help the petitioners and therefore resolved the issue of Certificate Forgery in favour of Mbah.

On the issue of wrong computation of results of the Labour Party in Udenu local government, the panel said they petitioners failed to prove his case and the witnesses they called gave the same report from different polling units and wards and wondered why their testimonies are the same even from different locations.

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The panel also said that the witnesses presented by the Labour Party weren’t duly accredited agents by INEC and makes their testimony invalid.

The panel based on the witnesses from the right agents in 3 polling units, deducted 51 votes from PDP and added same to Labour Party.

The tribunal held that the deduction isn’t enough to Overturn the election of Mbah.

In Amagu polling unit in Nkanu East the panel cancelled the votes for all parties because the witness pw10 proved he was there and the right person.

In the remaining 11 polling units, the tribunal held that the witnesses didn’t sign the result sheet and their witnesses is discountenanced because they can’t prove they were party agents

After resolving all the matter, the tribunal dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

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