Monday, 7 March 2016
By Ifeanyi Chijioke
For Family Writers
Hon. Ejiofor is the lawyer representing the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in this interview he opened up on issues surrounding his client and how he has moved on so far in making sure justice is done. However, he maintained that all he is after is for the law to stand for the sake of justice.
He decried the persecution of his client and wondered why his right must be violated. Recall he took over the case from another lawyer and since then he has recorded victories and he shared his driving force. Answering questions from Ifeanyi Chijioke of FAMILY WRITERS, when asked what has been the drive that he has been recording victories of which the latest was where he won that his client be tried publicly.
“Thank you very much, the most important thing is that we are really committed towards giving him best of professional defence as much as this matter is concerned. And we are exploring all legal avenues to ensure that we get the best. Because from every assessment of what is before the court, it is obvious that Nnamdi Kanu is only being persecuted and not prosecuted. In the first place, let the whole world know, I have been consistent in bringing to the knowledge of the whole world that the charge against him, Nnamdi Kanu before the federal high court and also the evidence in support of the charges cannot sustain the charges, it has no coloration of whatsoever, connection of whatsoever with the charges, on that note we come to the conclusion that he is not being prosecuted but persecuted.
But as far as law is concerned, we know that he can only be judged based on law and not what anybody is saying. And at the end of the day, victory shall be ours, most certainly. It is important to bring to the attention of the world using this medium and this opportunity to let them know that we have filed appeal against that ruling of high court number three where he was refused bail, as I speak to you we have entered appeal against the ruling on bail application. And any moment from now, appeal court will communicate us on a date when the matter will be heard. And am hopeful, very hopeful that appeal court will do justice to that, and they will grant him bail”
Ifeanyi Chijioke worried by the time it took to file appeal against a judgment that was widely condemned and labeled bias. When he was questioned on the time and reason he explained thus. “ No .You see the point is, it has been on from the very first day the ruling was delivered but we don’t want to make it public. You know in the cause of appeal when a ruling is delivered you have to apply for the record of proceedings. And transmission of record to court of appeal and all that, so all those things take time, it has been ongoing but we don’t want the public to know. So but as I speak to you the record has been transmitted and we have already filed our appellant plea before the appeal court which has been served to the respondent that is the federal government. And also filed motion for a period of time within which to get the appeal heard. So I can assure that any moment from now we will communicate you the official date the matter will be coming up in appeal court for hearing. And am hopeful court of appeal will do justice to that.
Secondly, in regards to the application before ECOWAS court, we found merit in the fact that he has reasonable cause of action against the federal government. Because if you look at the way and manner he was arrested, the torture and pain and charged in a wrong court. At the end of the expiate, when they discovered that the lower court has directed he should be released. They quickly rushed to federal higher court to retain an order to detain him for 90 days. Which order was upon presented with the two facts the federal high court displaced the order. So you see the length of time they took taking him from one place to another just to punish him, kept him incommunicado and under degraded and inhuman condition. So I can assure you, if they really know what they are doing, if they are sure they have any case against him there, upon being arrested they would have taken him to the appropriate court and arraign him there to face his lawyer.
Speaking boldly and in a tense manner over what he described as persecution as he held that there is no evidence worth the case. Recall that in the last ruling on bail application before Justice Tsoho, the trial judge held that he would not grant Nnamdi Kanu bail because he won’t stop his agitation and also because he poses a flight risk. Answering questions on why his client was not given bail. He said.
“Dear the point is, in as much as I do not like to go into a matter that will dent the character or image of the trial judge, subject the integrity of the judge to question or look like I am delving into the matter before the court. The fact is the court in denying a bail must be guided by certain principles laid down under the law, the issue of agitation which is a fundamental right, right to self-agitation. Is both under human right and African charter which we are signatory to and agitation is recognized under our constitution and should never be a fundamental reason he should be denied bail in the first place. We have found faults in the ruling of the federal high court wherein he was refused bail, so many lapses in the ruling why he was refused bail. And on that grasp we have been able to present the appeal before the appeal court, based on strong grasp which the court will consider” he however declined to go into much details as the appeal is now before the appeal court, he expressed confidence that the court of appeal would do justice this time around.
The federal government seems to be bent on contravening everything constitutional to keep Kanu behind bars. They have gone as far as flouting orders of the magistrate and high court that had ordered for Kanu’s release. Answering questions on what is his expectation in the ongoing trial. He hailed the decision of the court to make the trial a public one as he is convinced that things will go well for him. His words
“ Well, you might have been there or must have heard, they filed application to try him in camera which we objected vehemently and the court in his wisdom held our objection and refused the application. We want speedy trial so that they can bring their witnesses, if they have anybody to testify then we are ready let him come to the court, we are fully prepared to see what the person will testify on. the evidence must be tailored along line the charges, that is the most important thing, you can’t say Mr Xyz was seen somewhere this or that, no it is not done that way, we are waiting, let us see who is coming to give false evidence before the court. And we are ready to confront him, we will take him down in the court especially now we are going to see the person and know when he is lying or not. Because what we are doing in the court now is a public trial, we are very very prepared for this case and if we are not ready to proceed, we have other options laid under the law to explore”
It is very much strange what is going on in Nigeria as some world leaders have solemnly been in support of Nnamdi Kanu, does it means the Pope is in support of a criminal as held by Nigerian government, the British MP that have played a remarkable role. The world are asking questions and calling in to know what exactly is going on. When asked how has the numerous international supports his client enjoy been helpful, he said.
“My brother, it has been so wonderful, our client has been operating within the confines of the law and limitations of the law, the movement has been so peaceful, this is why the international community gave him recognition,UN also gave him recognition.
This is not a violent movement, so the Pope and MP supporting him is a welcome development. And the world is watching and they are interested, except the two, other known figures are calling in and asking questions.
This is a person that was not caught with arms and not working with armed group and you are charging him with treasonable felony. Where have you seen that happen? Then you are charging him for committing offence of treasonable felony. Go to the law and see what treasonable felony is all about, see the ingredient, the item and element of treasonable felony.
As a layman, now connect it to the facts of what is before the court, it will tell you that there is nothing whatsoever, I can authoritatively tell you that nothing whatsoever before the court which have semblance of item or ingredient of treasonable felony. You know what we are doing today, we are working with the law and facts and evidence before the court, you cannot just go and import anything. We are going to do the case, conduct the trial based on what is before the court. And I know that with the documents and facts we have submitted before the court, I can assure you that the offence cannot be established” he detailed
Recall that Nnamdi Kanu was arrested and kept incommunicado for 98days without trial and tortured by virtue of the bruise on the length side of his face. Buhari has been accused of inhuman torture and right violations and in some quarters it was seen as a move to break Nnamdi Kanu into renouncing Biafra. When asked about the mental and physical status of his client he said.
“Our client has remained unshaken, he is very firm in his belief and his struggle, he is doing well because he knows there is nothing less than justice that will be done in the court. He is very high and unshaken, I was with him lately, he is unshaken”
Finally, when asked what is his message to the millions of the supporters of his client and members of indigenous people of Biafra, he said.
“My message is for everybody to remain calm and allow the due process of law to take its place, my assurances to them is that there is nothing less than justice that will be done in that court. And I can assure them that victory will be ours at the end of the day”