Let Give More Room To Rule Of law.

 

By Best Omonode

Nigeria, and not the accused persons, is currently in the dock in the ongoing trials of Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) and Nnamdi Kanu in Cotonou, Republic of Benin and Abuja, Nigeria respectively.

The 54-year-old Nnamdi Kanu and 49-year-old Igboho, who were little known, have suddenly become heroes of their people and of the free world, wearing garlands the Buhari administration has tactlessly adorned them with. Not the lacklustre performance of his administration, but the way Buhari has handled the fundamental issue of the security of life and property of Nigerians, which gave birth to Kanu and Igboho, will be the dominant yardstick with which this tenure may be hang on

The legislature, the Presidency, and even the judiciary are in the eyes of the world. In these their two exceptional sons, Buhari has put both the Yoruba and Igbo nations in detention, manacled for trial for the expression of their conscience that even if the Buhari government lacks the capacity to better their lots, he should at least let them live. For daring to even cry when unjustly chastised, two of the largest component nations of Nigeria deserve the jackboot.

The Executive fumbled in several respects. First, is the illegal and thoughtless acts of preventing some members of the public, including ridiculously barring some media organizations from covering the trial. Unknown to it, every step by the Federal Government to present Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho as criminals have made them heroes of their people in the face of government’s feigned helplessness in curbing the menace of the Fulani ethnic terrorist militia who ride roughshod and unchecked on the lives of members of other nationalities.

The Law Is Supreme

This is a political trial simpliciter and the Federal Government must face its consequences squarely. For Kanu, the Constitution and our criminal justice system presume him innocent and cast the burden of proving its guilt beyond a reasonable doubt on the prosecuting Federal Government. In this proceeding, the Federal Government is participes criminis or at best an agent provocateur. The non-production of Kanu, blamed on logistics problems, is suspect. The prosecution is not just only being aware of the date and importance of this trial.

Apart from the Ikemba and Eze Igbo Gburugburu, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, no other Nigerian has pulled such cult followership among the Igbo as Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Though a Lion by university attendance as those of us who have the privilege of passing through the University of Nigeria Nsukka are proudly called, Nnamdi is not the devouring lion as the government of Nigeria seems to present him. He is an apostle of Mahatma Gandhi School of nonviolence resistance to State evil and was merely a director of London-based Radio Biafra under the leadership of Mazi Ralph Uwazuruike who also is a peaceful agitator and founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB.

Applying Civility Is The Best

Even when he broke out, to create the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra in 2014, little was known of Kanu as the more democratic government of President Goodluck Jonathan, was undisturbed by Kanu’s right to nonviolent ventilation of his views no matter the size of the crowd pulled in the process. At the inception of the Buhari administration, even without any evidence of violence, the government detained Kanu without trial from October 2015 for over a year despite court orders for his release. By 2017, in the bid to neutralise him, his house was attacked through unpretentious military operations which led to the deaths of scores of members of IPOB.

If Kanu had stayed in Nigeria playing folk hero, the 54-year-old Nigerian/British citizen would probably have fallen under the bullets for trying to resist arrest. Or being addressed in the language he understood by refusing to continue to allow armed terrorist herdsmen to kill his people, destroy their farms, rape their sisters and mothers. The abduction of Kanu from Kenya which the Federal Attorney General celebrated gleefully, is only an albatross. In the full eyes of the world, Kanu is now a big fishbone in the throat of the Federal Government.

In the case of Igboho, he grew up to know the Fulani in his locality where they are not in negligible population, but carry on their cattle breeding business with respect for the culture and rules of their host communities, apart from intermarriages which have altered even the Fulani tongues. In cases of conflicts between the cattle rearing Bororo and the indigenous farmers, there were local mechanisms for amicable redress.

Kanu and Igboho may not have political ambitions, they may not even realise their dreamed nations sooner; they will not die but live to be celebrated. When General Buhari as military Head of State in 1984, sentenced the overthrown state governors to terms of imprisonment each ranging from 50 to 100 years, in a rough trial where the accused were asked to prove their innocence, little did he know that he had only less than two years more in Dodan Barracks, about the same time now left for him in Aso Rock?

The endurance of the masquerade is directly proportional to that of the child being pursued by it. Their struggles are equal and opposite. Who knows, the President may still be born again and live on the positive side of history. One month is a long time in politics.

Nigeria, we hail thee.

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