As the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB}) resumes on October 21, the Greater Igbo Forum has called for a fair hearing in court.
The group demanded that he be produced in court and be given an opportunity to air his own view as is expected of a democratic set-up.
Founder of Greater Igbo Forum, Obinna Chikelu Kingsman, who made the call, also charged the government of the day to decisively deal with the raging problem of insecurity and also the economy in the interest of Nigerians.
He said the forum stands for all Nigerians as it is not ethnic group, but for all Nigerians that have an affiliate with the I gbo race either by mother, by father or by marriage or by adoption.
“Having said that, the pertinent issues concerning the Nigeria nation today is about the Nnamdi Kanu’s detention, I can say the first part of it in the equity and justice he deserves to be given a fair hearing in the competent court. As there’s a program tomorrow there’s no question of bringing him or not, he should be allowed to appear in court and then have opportunity for him to air his own view and the state too will air their own view that is the right of every individual that is detained by the state, and that is the beauty of Democracy and the Rule of Law.
“And that takes us to see the insecurity that is around us these days, in Imo yesterday you can see how traditional rulers were killed and it’s an everyday occurrence. I used to say and I used to suggest that this is high time that the leaders of this country should rise up and lift this problem off board because delaying may be too late, it’s not good to get this youths involved in this things that is going on now, the more it gets deeper in them, the more it’s going to be difficult to lift out of the board.
“So my suggestion is to give Nnamdi Kanu a fair hearing, produce him first of all at the court tomorrow and hear him and at the same time look squarely on the way to go on about the insecurity issues which a lot of things have come to play, unemployment is there, hunger is there and at the same time the feeling of not belonging that is beside, the Igbo’s are seeing it now.”
Kinsman also said the distribution of the National Leadership Structure is supposed to represent the Federal Character System.
This, he said, gives everybody a fair level ground where everybody can showcase their talent and strength.” I mean this is a simple thing that calls for justice and implementation and I know there are competent hands everywhere,” he said.
He said though there are competent people everywhere, the country has not developed to the level where any section is neglected in terms of being given the opportunity to lead to avoid friction.
“The factors that divide us must be taken in for consideration when we’re looking for Peace, that is in terms of Ethnicity and Religion and again Nnamdi Kalu should be provided in court and at the same time given fair hearing, and at the same time the people especially the South Easterners, my brothers I plead to them, let us give Peace a chance. You don’t get anything through violence, violence destroys but that is why the Greater Igbo Forum stands for dialogue. I believe when all heads are cool, we sit down together and we talk out issues and nobody will play arrogant when the truth is being said,” he said.
Also National President of the Forum, Hon. Levi Ezeorah, National President of Greater Igbo Forum, urged that Kalu be provided in the court and given a fair hearing, which he said would douse tension.
“No matter how you see him, he has followers, he has sympathizers and the issue is, what is this young clamoring for? We’ve spoken of marginalization, without marginalization there could have been nothing like his struggle, there are people no matter how you take it there are people that see him as freedom fighter. What we need to ask is, Is there marginalization? If there is, Is there any against the Igbo people? If there is, like my forum believes in dialogue is it not necessary to approach the whole thing with dialogue, what is this young man clamoring for? Bring the stakeholders from that region to discuss about that, I think that is what will now bring down the tempo and reduce the crisis.
“The continual keeping of Nnamdi Kanu in the court does not solve any problem, it does not, and the Federal Government will do the people good by providing Nnamdi Kanu tomorrow in the court. A lot of people are receiving the heat and even the IPOB people has been infiltrated by people who has even using that to create crisis and the moment Nnamdi Kanu is tried properly I think we will reduce the tension.
“Then your question concerning whether the Federal Government this present administration in regards to security, whether there’s increase in insecurity in the country or not well what I have to say about that is that based on the situation on ground now nerves have been touched, it didn’t start today, it didn’t start in this administration. The tempo has been high before it has been an accumulated anger, a lot of people are feeling not well treated not only the South Eastern people if it is only the South Eastern people why is it that we’re having Boko Haram in the north, why is that there’s insurgence in the north, why are we having kidnapping, why are we having Fulani Herdmen here and there.
“In generality of the whole thing, what is necessary as per solving the problem in this country once and for all is to engage the stakeholders through dialogue, we dialogue and know how this country will move forward by so doing we will almost eliminate the problem. That is my advice”, he said.
Also, award winning journalist, Mr Ben Okezie, said as far as Nnamdi Kanu is concerned, the government should not do anything that is hidden.
“The government should be open, they shouldn’t in anyway twist the Arm of Justice against him they should allow justice to do the whole work and then I also believe that the judge that is handling the case will be fair and will not in any way allow any government to dictate what they should do. But every eye is open, the world is watching, he’s a freedom fighter and a freedom fighter should not be subjected to the type of injustice that we perceive that the government is trying to inflict on him.
“But nonetheless I believe that the Federal Government of Nigeria will be fair in everything they’re doing with Nnamdi Kanu whether they’re going to bring him on that day depends on the information that the security agencies must have gotten, if they find out that the atmosphere or environment will not be very very clear for him, then I think they’ll not produce him.
“But if they find out that everywhere will be secured then I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t bring him to the court for ruling But this what one expect that they should be fairness in everything they’re doing with Nnamdi Kanu, there shouldn’t be like using a sledge hammer to kill an ant,” he said.
He charged the government to urgently tackle the rising problem of insecurity in the country.
Also reacting to the development, a lawyer, Barr. Emmanuel Nwachukwu, said it important that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu be tried fairly. We’ve been told that the matter was adjourned till 21st of October for hearing of the case. We are happy that finally the date has come and we pray that justice be done and that the trial be fair, be free and then will be transparent enough for everybody to know that the Federal Government is interested in orchestrating or is interested in trying Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in an open, fair and justiciable situation.
“Well at the last adjourned day the Federal Government did not produce Mazi Nnamdi Kanu so the trial was stalled, I was to believe that the Government will provide him, the DSS will provide him for the trial and this is also a signal it’s an indication that the Federal Government is interested in a fair and just prosecution of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by producing him in court it will show that they are ready to prosecute the case to a logical conclusion.
“So by providing him, the last time the lawyers were in court everybody was in court and the DSS did not come, the judge was there and the DSS did not produce Mazi Kalu. I want to believe that the Federal Government who looked at the situation the entire world is watching and people are watching, the world is watching to see what becomes of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s trial in Nigeria.
“This is one of the fears that we have been entertaining that it’s not a situation where you just keep somebody in detention, all the months, all the years without trial. Producing him in court will be a demonstration of the Government’s seriousness to embark on the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,” he said.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.