“Sir, I wish to sadly bring to your notice that the Order of Court made against the DSS since the 17th day of December, 2015 has not been obeyed. The statement I am struggling to make is that despite the unequivocal Order of unconditional release made by My Lord Justice Ademola J. on the 17th day of December, 2015, the DSS has continued to detain Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in their custody.” – Barrister Jideobi
Chief Odigie-Oyegun and President Buhari during APC campaign
Catholic Lawyer, Barrister Johnmary Chukwukasi Jideobi has written to the National Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, over the continued detention of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi kanu.
The lawyer, in his writing, warned Chief Oyegun and the APC of looming anarchy, citing neglect of standing Federal High Court order for the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu by the DSS as a case study.
He further challenged the APC to end the evident impunity or be willing to accept the consequences.
See the attached letter below:
Chief John Oyegun,
The National Chairman
All Progressive Congress (APC),
Nnamdi Kanu, the Rule of Law and the Imperative of Ending the Impunity of a Government Agency under the Firm Control and Leadership of the APC-Led Federal Government
The above subject matter refers.
Recall, Sir, that on the 17th day of December, 2015, the Federal High Court of Nigeria, sitting in Abuja and presided over by the Honourable Justice Ademola J., delivered a considered Ruling in an application brought by Citizen Nnamdi Kanu, the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against the Department of State Security (DSS).
Further, recall sir that in the said Court’s Ruling, My Lord Justice Ademola set aside the earlier Ex Parte Order of the same Court permitting the DSS to detain Mazi Nnamdi Kanu for ninety days, declared his further detention unlawful and ordered for his release UNCONDITIONALLY.
In a constitutional democracy such as ours where the Constitution reigns supreme, the solemn pronouncement of the Court on any issue submitted for its adjudication is final and must command the unquestionable obedience of all parties to the suit who are bound by such pronouncement. Anything contrariwise represents invitation to anarchy, negates the Rule of Law, challenges entrenched democratic traditions and encyclopaedically captures impunity.
Sir, I wish to sadly bring to your notice that the Order of Court made against the DSS since the 17th day of December, 2015 has not been obeyed. The statement I am struggling to make is that despite the unequivocal Order of unconditional release made by My Lord Justice Ademola J. on the 17th day of December, 2015, the DSS has continued to detain Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in their custody.
Nothing could better define impunity in excelsis than this brazen defiance of a positive solemn Order of a Court of competent jurisdiction; an attitude that has been roundly condemned severally by the Nigerian Supreme Court in tones of decided cases including but not limited to the well-known and often cited case of OJUKWU V. MILITARY GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE.
While it is true, Sir, that under our laws you do not hold any Constitutionally-recognized public office however, I have three solid persuasions that compelled me to write you and they are as follows;
(a) You are the National Chairman of the Ruling party, the APC, which promised Nigerians, during the electioneering campaigns, to end impunity if given the opportunity. God being so gracious, Nigerians have given your great party that rare opportunity and they are watching to see what your great party will make out of it.
(b) I am one of the millions of the Nigerian youths who were totally fed up with the Nigerian system under the past administration and who took it upon themselves to spread the message of change during the electioneering campaign in the hope that the prevailing old order of impunity would be buried once our message of change is accepted and the much awaited new order of Constitutionalism and Rule of Law would be speedily enthroned by the APC-led Federal Government. Our voluntary commitment and involvement to the Project of Change at the time was indeed at a grave personal cost and sacrifice which does not call for itemization in this letter. To this extent therefore, I consider myself a stakeholder, in my own wise, in this Change Project.
(c) I am proud to say that I share the same Catholic faith with you which enjoins us to always make a positive difference in our environment, even in politics, by being Christ-like.
Flowing from the foregoing, you will agree with me, Sir, that a moral burden has crystallized on your shoulders and conscience to demonstrate to Nigerians, by your own showing, that the great party you ably pilot its affairs is indeed sincerely committed to ending impunity in the land in whatever form. The case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has now presented your great party a golden opportunity to give flesh and blood to one of her campaign promises and walk the talk. By prevailing on the DSS to obey a subsisting valid Court Order against it, your great party will have passed this acid test and successfully shut up the mouths of her detractors.
Sir, let me be clear on this, the time for you to use your undoubted influence to have Mr. President see reasons why he should make sure that this subsisting Court Order is obeyed by the DSS is now. Indeed, the integrity and dignity of our Constitution (the most sacred document binding us together) is now hanging on the balance. Power being transient, we must not forget that the Nigerian populace are taking stocks and in the evening of this Administration’s tenure, Nigerians will necessarily assess the performance of your great party and one of the cardinal basis of such critical assessment is respect for the Rule of Law. Indeed, the prosecutor trying to get even with an accused, like Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been described as a barren showmanship.
Finally, over and above party interests, it is my humble but considered view that the responsibility of deepening our democracy and ending impunity in the land is a shared one among all lovers of democracy and indeed all patriotic Nigerians. By so doing, we will be discharging the Constitutional duty imposed on us to act responsibly and live out the ideals of the Constitution. While it seems to be the turn of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu today, who knows whose turn it would be tomorrow. At this trying moment of our nation’s history, we all must be guided by wisdom and never shall emotion and sentiment, no matter how intense, be allowed a casting vote in our decisions. Our democracy can only keep us if we keep our democracy. Our laws can only keep us if we keep our laws. History and experience have shown that anybody, no matter how highly placed, might be in need of the Court’s protection tomorrow. We must therefore guard the sacred institution of the Judiciary very jealously.
We must learn to ‘let justice flow like a stream and righteousness like a river that never goes dry’ as enjoined on us by the Sacred Scripture (Amos 5: 24). As you find time to reflect on all this, Sir, I ask Our Blessed Lord to continue to bless you, enlarge your borders, make your tenure even more glorious, grant you soundness of mind and body so that aided by His special grace, we all can work for a more egalitarian and equitable society by courageously bending the arc of justice in favour of the weak, the poor, the oppressed and the less-privileged. Compliments of the Season!
Please Sir, do graciously accept the assurances of my highest regards.
Yours in the Service of Humanity,
Johnmary Chukwukasi Jideobi, Esq.
1. His Eminence, John Cardinal Onayekan, Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese,
2. His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Mathew Hassan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese,