Aloy Ejimakor, lawyer to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has said the one-week sit-at-home recently declared by the Indigenous People of Biafra to commence from November 5 is a non-violent tool the agitators know how to use in demanding the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

He said the same exercise was used by an Indian revolutionary, Mahatma Ghandi.

Ejimakor disclosed these in an interview he granted TheNicheNigeria on Monday.

He said, "It is customary for judges to permit non-parties, whether lawyers or lay people, to sit in court to observe proceedings. This includes persons who are in court to ‘watch brief’ because of their special interest in the outcome of such proceedings.

"At Kanu’s last adjourned hearing before the one on October 21, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife was allowed into court and was introduced as watching brief for Ohanaeze Ndigbo. So was Goddy Uwazuruike, a senior lawyer, who sat next to me and was given leave to briefly address the Court from the bar. It is a routine thing that happens every day in various courts of Nigeria.

"I was therefore troubled that on October 21, these eminent persons were not even allowed entry into the court premises, not to talk of the courtroom itself. A motley of Lawyers who volunteered their appearance for Kanu was also served the same treatment. It shouldn’t be this way and I minced no words raising my objections in a brief press briefing I gave on the spot.

"It reflects badly on the entire society. It is an exemplar of the institutional oppression that has boomeranged to the point of becoming the cannon fodder for agitations."

He further revealed that, "Historically, sit-at-home is a nonviolent form of civil disobedience. It was deployed with remarkable success against the British Raj in India by Mahatma Gandhi. At the time in India, I think Gandhi was asked if it was necessary, and his measured response was that it was a necessary evil against the greater evil of British oppression.

"In their reaction, the British colonialists saw it as the greatest sign ever that Indians were never relenting in their quest for freedom. And what did the British do? They abandoned their usual course of levying force and rhetoric against the people and resorted to dialogue. So, the issue is not whether any sit-at-home is necessary but why the authorities are not deploying the facility of a dialogue to containing it."

When asked about the allegations made against Kanu and IPOB by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami in a press conference on Friday, Ejimakor said, "The allegations are mere tales by the moonlight, as they do not reflect the charges that are extant before the court."

He went further, "They are also defamatory and highly prejudicial to the cases in court. In a sense, it smacks of prosecutorial misconduct of a kind that underscores the other misconducts that have become rampant in the overall handling of Kanu’s case.

"The motive is simple: trial by ordeal, or trial by propaganda. If he has other motives, none of them can truly be said to be noble."

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