Image: Nnamdi Kanu in his Radio Biafra Studio
The reported arrest of the alleged Director of Radio Biafra Mr Nnamdi Kanu by the Department of State Service has been condemned as outrageous violations of the constitutional freedoms of Right to Association and Movement even as a demand has been tabled for his immediate release and an apology from the Nigerian State.
A pro-Democracy Non-governmental organisation – Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) which is reacting to the reported arrest at the International Airport, Lagos, of the leader of the self-determination group, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, condemned what it called the Gestapo-style of state sponsored abduction of a citizen.
The abduction was done in the guise of arrest without allowing him enjoy all the constitutional rights recognised in the process of any valid arrest which essentially includes allowing his legal representatives to be aware of such an action and the specific security agency carrying out such an act.
The group said that the illegality that characterized the arrest of the Pro-Biafra advocate by the DSS has completely made nonsense of the principle of rule of law and is hereby accordingly condemned.
HURIWA in a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, absolutely condemned the DSS for going after such a soft target as Mr Nnamdi Kanu whose only alleged offence is the peaceful and constructive lawful agitations for a self-government for the Igbo speaking nationality.
HURIWA said the constitutional freedoms of speech and expression enshrined in the Nigerian law do not forbid anyone from canvassing peaceful self-government which in any event is legally permissible under diverse international humanitarian laws including the Covenant on Civil and political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human rights (UDHR) which Nigeria as a United Nations member signed on to.
HURIWA indeed said that President Muhammadu Buhari had at the just ended General Assembly of the United Nations canvassed global support for the Palestinian Cause which is similar to the agitation for self-rule by the pro-Biafra platform based in Europe which Mr Nnamdi Kanu currently champions through the instrumentality of peaceful media advocacy campaigns.
HURIWA said that Mr Nnamdi Kanu is a Political Prisoner of Conscience and must be released.
HURIWA charges DSS to go after the founders and funders of the Boko Haram terrorists that are unleashing horrendous crime against humanity and stop the harassment of peaceful agitators of self-rule such as Nnamdi Kanu and many others.
The group wondered why some of the alleged sponsors of Boko Haram are today rehabilitated and settled with juicy political appointments including a prominent leadership position in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a conspiratorial refusal of officials of the Justice ministry of the Federation to efficiently prosecute him before the competent court of law.
HURIWA also condemned the Federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari for letting hundreds of Boko Haram suspects go home as free citizens from detention even before they are prosecuted but this same administration appointed a hugely politically partisan hierarchy for the Department of State Service that is now going after peaceful Biafra agitators.
“The Nigerian State under the current dispensation is simply chasing shadows by seeking to curtail the fundamental freedoms of peaceful citizens such as Mr Nnamdi Kanu whereas it hasn’t professionally and effectively gone after the masterminds of terrorism which has caused the gruesome murders of over 20,000 innocent Nigerians in the last 3 years.
“In only about four months of this administration over 700 innocent Nigerians have been killed by Boko Haram and bombs are raining on innocent worshippers and civilians in markets of Maiduguri Borno State but the DSS is been used to go after pro-Biafra agitators who have only demanded self-rule legally”.
HURIWA said: “Nnamdi Kanu must be given all his constitutional rights and is presumed innocent in the eye of the law and should be released forthwith.
“We condemn this military style of intimidation and harassment of ordinary unarmed citizens whose presumed crime is for seeking self-rule which is allowed under the law internationally”.