Members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra in Europe celebrating Biafra Day
*Condemn shooting, killing, arrests and detention of Biafran activists*
Press Release By Indigenous People Of Biafra In The United Kingdom: A Demand For The Release Of All Indigenous People Of Biafra Detained By The Defendants In The Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013
We, the Indigenous People of Biafra [IPOB] in the United Kingdom, unequivocally condemn the shooting, killing, arrests and detention of Biafran activists by the Agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria who are the Defendants in the ongoing Suit No. FHC/OW/CS/192/2013 in the Federal High Court Owerri, Nigeria.
We draw the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation to Issue No. 2 in the Originating Summons for determination by the Court which states as follows:
“Whether the Claimants who identify themselves as Biafrans by indigenous identity are committing any offence by doing so contrary to any provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 or contrary to any provisions of the Criminal Code and whether it is a crime under any national or international law to mention the name of BIAFRA or for the remnants of the Indigenous People of Biafra who were not consumed by the war to maintain their indigenous identity as Biafrans with their native emblems and symbols as they do now even though they are Nigerians by citizenship and nationality laws; and if the answer is in the negative, whether the Defendants are justified to arrest, shoot and kill the children of the Claimants for identifying themselves as Biafrans by indigenous identity contrary to the rights of indigenous peoples as guaranteed by Articles 19 – 25 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990”.
Just as the Northerners govern themselves by the Sharia
Law, we the Indigenous People of Biafra in Biafraland
are governed by the Customary Law as recognised
by the Nigerian Constitution – IPOB
By continuing to arrest, detain and kill the children of the Claimants while the issues for determination are before the Court, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation are committing the offence of contempt of the Court.
This Press Release is a warning notice. If this matter proceeds to the International Court of Justice, we shall draw the attention of the Court to this Warning Notice.
We have observed that the Biafrans are treated differently from the other peoples in Nigeria. It is clear to us that the same Nigerian law which Nigerian authorities apply to punish the Biafrans is not applied in the same way to punish the peoples of other regions. There is therefore a different standard of justice for the Moslem North and for the Christian East.
If 182 members of Boko Haram could be released from prison, the Nigerian Government has no moral justification to keep any Biafran in detention. The Fulani herdsmen and militia going with AK47 are wreaking havoc in various parts of the country but the Government turns a blind eye to them.
When General Buhari said that “the dog and baboon would all be soaked in blood” if he did not win the election, the hammer of the law did not fall on him.
When the Oba of Lagos said he would drown the Igbo people in the Lagoon if they failed to vote for his APC candidate, the hammer of the law did not fall on him. But if the Biafrans make similar provocative statements, the Nigerian Government will quickly apply the law to punish them.
We have observed that the Federal Government of Nigeria and its agents are trying to criminalise the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). It is not possible to criminalise us because the Indigenous People of Biafra are in Court with Nigeria in a representative capacity by the human rights organization called Bilie Human Rights Initiative.
As disclosed in the documents already filed in Court which are in the possession of the Defendants, the body known as INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA is the body of all the remnants of the Biafrans who were not consumed in the war between Nigeria and Biafra now seeking to exercise their right of self-determination by the rule of law.
It is not a Company but a people. It is a non-legal entity which can only sue or be sued in a representative capacity. They operate a Customary Government of Biafra under the Nigerian Constitution.
The Customary Government of Biafra is headed by the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra whose Chairman is His Royal Majesty, His Lordship, the Honourable Justice Eze Ozobu OFR; the Deputy Chairman is Dr Dozie Ikedife OON, JP; the Secretary-General is Brig. Gen. Joe Achuzia (rtd); and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) is His Royal Majesty, Eze Iheanyi Nwokenna OFG, JP.
These are men of impeccable character, high honour and integrity in Nigeria. The Defendants are aware that the Deputy leader of the Biafrans, Dr Dozie Ikedife, was one of the participants in the National Conference in Abuja 2014.
We put the Nigerian Government and the general public on Notice that the Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is His Royal Majesty, the Honourable Justice Eze Ozobu OFR.
We are not opposed to the rule of law but we frown at the discriminatory application of the law by the Nigerian Government. We remind the Defendants that all the Indigenous People of Biafra as represented by Bilie Human Rights Initiative are law abiding citizens seeking to exercise their right of self-determination and should not be criminalised for doing so.
We wish to state categorically that Indigenous People of Biafra abhor violence in their struggle for self-determination and remain loyal to the Nigerian law and the Customary Government of Indigenous People of Biafra headed by the Supreme Council of Elders.
Just as the Northerners govern themselves by the Sharia Law, we the Indigenous People of Biafra in Biafraland are governed by the Customary Law as recognised by the Nigerian Constitution.
It appears that the Defendants have not yet understood our decision to free ourselves from Nigeria. We are not ready to give up the struggle for independence. We have resolved to continue the struggle from generation to generation until Biafra is freed from Nigeria. Looking at the issues for determination as contained in the Originating Summons, everyone can appreciate that the issues are weighty indeed.
We are convinced that the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney-General have no defence to our self-determination case. We are not in a position to advise the Defendants on what to do in the circumstance where they have no defence. The next court hearing is on 15th December 2015 and we are expecting President Buhari’s lawyers in Court.
We therefore demand for the immediate and unconditional release of ALL Biafrans in detention/prison and urge the Nigerian Government to institute independent investigations into the shooting, killing, indiscriminate arrests and detention of ALL Biafran activists. Those responsible for these clear human rights violations must be held accountable.
The endless violation of human rights of the Biafrans must stop immediately and they must be allowed to freely exercise their rights to fundamental freedoms and self-determination.
Coordinator, Indigenous People of Biafra, United Kingdom
Director of Media & Publicity,
Indigenous People of Biafra, United Kingdom
Megan Adaobi Clement
UN Delegate for BHRI Representing Indigenous People of Biafra
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