A rights group known as the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, ISCLRL, has called for the immediate release of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, 90 days after he was arrested by the Department of State Service at his hotel in Lagos.
Mr. Kanu, who is the executive director of pirate radio station, Radio Biafra that broadcasts hate speeches and secession messages, was granted bail by an Abuja Chief Magistrates court but was immediately re-arrested by the DSS, which has re-arraigned him before a High Court on treason charges.
The group in a statement by its chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, insisted that “the arrest and detention of Citizen Kanu and their circumstances are in grave violation of all known constitutional, regional and international conventional liberties or civil and political rights.
“Gravest of these violations by Buhari and his DSS are the provisions of Section 35 (4) (a) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as well as Sections 293, 295 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Ac, ACJ, of 2015.
“Therefore, we feel saddened and alarmed over Buhari administration’s anarchic approaches and dispositions, which are steadily leading Nigeria to irreparable destruction of its organised society, public morality and decency. The consequences of the Buhari administration’s contempt for rule of law are economically, politically, socially and ethno-religiously calamitous. Economically speaking, for instance, no rational foreign investor will risk his or her investment or capital in a country where its president boldly appeared on national television and declared disobedience to judicial decisions and disrespect to rule of law as sacrosanct and the corner stone of his administration.
“Citizen Kanu’s detention of over 60 days without trial or bail release is prohibited by Section 35 (4) (a) of the 1999 Constitution which clearly stated that ‘any person who is arrested or detained in accordance with subsection 1 (c) of this section (reasonable suspicion of committing any criminal offense or preventing commission of a criminal offense) shall be brought before a court of law within a reasonable time, and if he is not tried within a period of: (a) two months from the date of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who is in custody or is not entitled to bail (in capital offenses), he shall (without prejudice to any further proceedings that may be brought against him) be released either unconditionally or upon such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears for trial at a later date’”.
Meanwhile, a coalition of civil society groups, yesterday staged a peaceful protest at the Lagos State House of Assembly where they flayed the continued disobedience to valid court orders by President Buhari as well as his refusal to adhere to the rule of law.
The protesters, numbering about two dozen, were armed with placards that read: “Say no to disobedience to court order and impunity; obey the rule of law, say no to rule of fear; let there be strength in justice; disobedience to court order is state of anarchy; Enough to corruption and impunity; stop the corruption in the judiciary now”, among others.
In a letter to President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, which they submitted through the Lagos Assembly, the groups demanded the commencement of impeachment proceeding against Buhari if he continues to disregard court orders and rule of law.