Aloy Ejimakor, lawyer to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has stated that the IPOB leader’s course is in same fashion like South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, India’s Mahatma Gandhi and the United States’ famous, Martin Luther King, who had ideals and agitations within the boundaries of the law.

Ejimakor added that Kanu was open for negotiations but the Nigerian Army through Operation Python Dance in 2017 terminated the ongoing negotiations between the Nigerian government and the IPOB leader.

Nnamdi Kanu

The lawyer disclosed that there was a dialogue between the South-East governors with the backing of the Nigerian government with Kanu until the military operation invaded Abia in 2017 leading to the killings of many people.

Ejimakor stated these in an interview with The Sun.

The lawyer said, “You will recall that back in early September 2017, Mazi Kanu was in talks with the South-East governors, with the tacit blessings of the Federal Government. Then, all of a sudden, the dialogue was terminated and Python Dance was brought to bear.

“It was not Kanu that terminated the dialogue. When someone demands self-determination through referendum, he has shown sufficient consideration to the state, such that should warrant some reciprocity that can begin with a dialogue. Kanu has never ruled out dialogue. So, what’s stopping the authorities?”

“Even though Kanu was undoubtedly amenable to prosecution or trial based on the charges pending against him from 2015, his subsequent extraordinary rendition from Kenya has changed all that. That’s why I commenced the constitutional suit that is now pending before the High Court of Abia State.

“But because this question is now subjudice, I cannot comment on its merits but I can give you an excerpt of the case-in-chief that I adduced in the originating processes I filed in court. My case-in- chief is this: That it is fundamentally wrong for the Nigerian State to levy a lethal military attack on Nnamdi Kanu at his home in Abia State while he was free on bond and having failed to kill him, to then pursue him to Kenya and abduct him without due process of law.

“The abduction, the torture that followed and the unlawful imprisonment in Kenya, plus his consequent expulsion from Kenya to Nigeria, are manifestly unconstitutional and amount to infringement of his fundamental rights.

“There’s an unbroken chain of notorious violations that started in Afara-Ukwu, Abia State in late 2017 and culminated in Kenya in June 2021. It is trite that when a state forcibly takes a fugitive suspect from a foreign country to its territory without giving the person the benefit of the extradition process, it amounts to an act of extraordinary rendition that, without more, triggers insurmountable legal barriers to prosecution.”

“As a lawyer, it’s my professional duty to defend my clients zealously and without fear. Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, who are in the same mould and stature as Kanu, had a retinue of lawyers who defended their ideals and agitations within the boundaries of the law.

“There’s this universal rule, even recognised by the United Nations; that no lawyer is supposed to be constrained by the authorities when it comes to defending his clients or plying his trade as a lawyer.

“The right to counsel guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution implicitly requires the authorities to refrain from any conduct that might interfere with the right to counsel,” Ejimakor added.

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