AGAIN, ANAMBRA LAWYERS ATTACK THE IPOB, WRITE THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION ON ANAMBRA ELECTION



14th August, 2017
THE HONOURABLE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION,
MR. ABUBAKAR MALAMI, SAN
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE,
MAITAMA, ABUJA.

DEAR SIR,

ANAMBRA 2017 ELECTION AND BIAFRA AGITATIONS: THE NEED FOR YOUR OFFICE TO ROBUSTLY RISE IN DEFENCE OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY AND HALT THE IMPUNITY OF CHARLATANS

The above subject-matter refers.
We bring you warm greetings in the name [and from the constituency] of Anambra State Lawyers in Defence of Democracy [ASLADD] and from the constituency of all lovers of democracy, advocates of constitutionalism and apostles of Rule of Law.

BACKGROUND FACTS:
Our Dear Anambra State is now due for another governorship election. The electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission [henceforth in this letter called the INEC], has slated the date of the epic contest to be 18th November, 2017. The atmosphere is gradually heating up. This is understandable. Now, we have the Indigenous People of Biafra [henceforth in this letter called the IPOB]. They [the IPOB] are now concededly a factor in the political epic battle coming up. This is so, not because the IPOB is a registered political party under the Nigerian laws. The IPOB is not even registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria and therefore enjoys no legal entity in the Nigerian nation. However, the IPOB activities and the consequences flowing therefrom now transcend both political/geographical boundaries. The Leader of the IPOB, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu, has taken a decision and consequently issued a directive to the effect that elections would no longer hold in Biafraland.

THE SOUL OF THIS LETTER:
The seat of this letter is furnished by the vehement opposition to the holding of the said election by one Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the self-acclaimed Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra [henceforth in this letter called the IPOB] who is currently standing criminal trial bordering on treason before the Federal High Court, Abuja in charge no: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015. It is the position of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu that the said governorship election would not hold in Anambra State and that he and his followers are determined to boycott the elections. In so doing, it is their belief that Biafra as a country will speedily be realized.

THE CRUX OF OUR CASE:
Sir, there is no denying the fact that the exercise of the right to vote is tied to the discretion of each citizen. In other words, a citizen is at liberty to abstain from voting [for whatever good or bad reason] even though it is a civic duty recognized by the constitution. The IPOB have taken a position that they would “boycott” the forthcoming Anambra 2017 elections. We do not have any problem with them on this position. However, our challenge with IPOB is their seeming inability to appreciate the meaning of the word “boycott” as it relates to Anambra election. We are worried that their mode of propagating their “No referendum, no election” mantra suggests that the word “boycott” has another meaning assigned to it in their own dictionary which is “disruption” of all legitimate activities of government and electioneering activities calculated at striking terror in the minds of the citizens who have made up their mind to discharge their civic duty on the 18th day of November, 2017. We now proceed with aplomb to demonstrably instantiate this point.

Sir, the Nnmadi Kanu led IPOB are always quick to raise the green banner of “non-violence” and take refuge under its canopied ambience whereas their official dissemination channel, Radio Biafra,  is a flowing river of hate-speeches, incitement to violence and war. ASLADD commend to you the video of Nnamdi Kanu in the United States asking Igbo residing there for money to buy arms to fight other Nigerians. Hate speech leads to war and war leads to deaths and, therefore, IPOB preaches violence. In the South-East [especially in Onitsha which is our commercial nerve center], the IPOB miscreants extort money from traders after intimidating them. IPOB hoodlums illegally mount roadblocks to force other citizens to buy their Biafra flags and insignia not minding whether such citizens subscribe to their separatist ideology or whether such citizens have the money to pay for the said flags. They harass citizens and threaten them with violence. They intimidate them to close their shops. IPOB street urchins have on two remarkable occasions disrupted campaigns rallies and have most infamously invaded and desecrated St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Govrenment Area of Anambra State where the Governor was to worship [with their chants of no referendum, no election]. Indeed, they have a rich history of mischief. This is potentially dangerous. IPOB is exposing the Igbo to another war and this is unacceptable. Their sing song “non-violence” is therefore a blatant lie, a ruse, a decoy and a smokescreen to mislead the unwary. It is interesting to note that the IPOB is just one out of many Biafran separatist groups. Instructively, these complaints of acts of outlawry cannot be laid against those other groups.
As the Chief Law Officer of the country and the number one defender of our constitution and rule of law, you will agree with us that all these acts complained of [in their aggregate] rudely strike at the root of democracy and constitute a grave threat to the operation of the Nigerian Constitution in the Eastern part of Nigeria especially in Anambra State in view of the governorship election holding later in November. This has now crystallized to a weighty responsibility on your shoulders more so when these acts complained of mostly draw their inspiration from the activities of Nnamdi Kanu who has literally rumpled all the conditions to which his bail was tied and is now reveling in contempt of the Federal High Court with unprecedented and scandalous impunity. Speaking from the Bar, we are convinced that the security reports [on IPOB activities] from the security agencies in Anambra State [Onitsha in particular] cannot contradict these complaints we have tabled before you unless the commanders have not been alive to their responsibilities. This ugly and fast-degenerating state of affairs was/is the reason why we wrote a similar open letter to the State Governor last week titled “The 2017 Anambra State governorship election and the imperative of ending the impunity of anarchists before it is too late”. These nefarious activities carefully tabulated herein will in no time mark the beginning of the collapse of the economy of our Dear State and indeed the South-East in general if left unchecked. This would be one calamity too many. We cannot afford it especially in the light of the fact that the South-East is already disadvantaged in so many indices of good governance.

SUMMATION:
In signing off this urgent letter, we wish to draw your kind attention to the rising wave of violent crimes in Anambra State, the kind that has never been witnessed in our entire history as a nation. While we are still reeling in shock resulting from the blood-chilling and mind-boggling butchery of our compatriots on the 6th August, 2017 at Saint Philip’s Catholic Church, Amakwa Ozobulu, yesterday [13th August, 2017], we were again thrown into mourning by the attack on yet another church, this time in Onitsha. This litany of heart-wrenching calamities is alien to us as a people. It is against this background that we now urge you to deploy all the instruments and powers of the Nigerian State available to you to reign in the excesses of purveyors of hate-speeches, terminate the pastime of anarchists among us and promptly commence a high-powered clinical investigation into the activities of the IPOB [as tabled above]. Agitation for self-determination bears no resemblance with anarchy, criminality and outlawry. Our country Nigeria is a nation whose democracy is founded on laws. Our nation is not on auto-pilot. Nigeria is neither a ghetto [where charlatans call the shots] nor a banana republic [where outlaws dictate the tone of public discourse]. True indeed, Nigeria is not an asylum where lunatics and fringe elements preside. The time to axe this sore thumb is now so that it does not get gangrenous. We must now begin to separate apples from oranges. Your highly esteemed office must now set forth at dawn so that the journey would be made before dusk. We crave your kind indulgence to share the content of this letter with the media, the International Community and Human Rights Communities world over.

Please Sir, do kindly accept the firm assurances of our highest esteem.

Yours in defence of democracy,

JOHNMARY CHUKWUKASI JIDEOBI, Esq.

Convener of ASLADD


Cc:
United Nations Mission in Nigeria
Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria
The European Union Mission to Nigeria
National Human Rights Commission
The Inspector-General of Police
The Defence Headquarters
The Director-General, State Security Service
The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Federal House of Representatives
South-East Governors Forum
Anambra Council of Traditional Rulers







AGAIN, ANAMBRA LAWYERS ATTACK THE IPOB, WRITE THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION ON ANAMBRA ELECTION AGAIN, ANAMBRA LAWYERS ATTACK THE IPOB, WRITE THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION ON ANAMBRA ELECTION Reviewed by David Brunt on Monday, August 14, 2017 Rating: 5

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