The Agitation of Biafra has taken a new dimension with a group known as Customary Government of the Indigenous People of Biafra, CG-IPOB, dragging former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon, rtd, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Attorney-General of the Federation to Federal High Court Enugu.
In suit No. FHC/EN/CS/103/2019, coming up on October 2, 2019 the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, the pro-Biafra group wants the court to decide on issues relating to self-determination, regional autonomy, and roles the respondents played during the civil war, referendum, among other things.
The plaintiff is also seeking redress on issues bordering on the enforcement of rights of ‘Biafrans’ in their lawful pursuit for self-determination, referendum and right to establish an autonomous Biafran State within the Nigerian State as practiced by the Scots in the United Kingdom.
The CG-IPOB said it follows legal methodology and can never be proscribed, is being represented by an Anambra based lawyer, Mr. Emeka Adolf Emekesiri.
In an ex parte application filed on June 20, 2019, it sought the leave of the court’s and jurisdiction to commence a suit action against the defendants who were ex-Head of State, President of Nigeria and Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Nigeria.
“Whether, notwithstanding and in the absence of any directions, instructions, promises or offers from the defendants, the applicants have the legal and inalienable right to self-determination pursuant to Articles 19 – 25 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (Cap 10 LFN 1990)
“Whether it is an offence and unlawful contrary to any provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 or of any other law whatsoever for the remnants of the Biafrans who survived the war with their descendants to identify themselves as Biafrans by indigenous identity, and display their native flags and emblems and Biafran trademarks on their properties and products as they do now whilst remaining loyal to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Nigerian citizens.
And whether it is lawful for the Defendants to harass, molest, arrest and detain the applicants for identifying themselves as Biafrans with their native emblems.
“Whether by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1963 which took effect on 1st October 1963 and remained in force until the midnight of 30th September 1979, the defendants were right to seize and confiscate the assets, properties, money, and all treasures belonging to members of the claimant by promulgating the Abandoned Properties Act of 28th September 1979, while the 1963 Constitution was in force, being more than nine years after the war and after the declaration of “One Nigeria” while regarding members of the claimant as Nigerian citizens but depriving them of their properties, money and assets.
“Whether the defendants were justified to violate the International Humanitarian Law and the Laws of War known as the Geneva Convention 1949 (to which the defendants acceded to and ratified on 20th June 1961) by bombing the Biafran civilians, killing the Biafran civilians and using starvation to kill the children, women and the elderly of the civilian population of the indigenous people of Biafra in the war of 1967 – 1970 in order to win the war.
“Whether the right of self-determination provided under Article 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act overrides and supersedes the provisions of Sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 pursuant to the Judicial Authority in the case of IGP v ANPP (2007) 18 NWLR (Pt. 1066) 457 at 500, Para B–C.
“Whether it is lawful for the defendants to marginalise, persecute and discriminate against the claimant’s region of the South East and South South of Nigeria by refusing to develop their region, refusing to revamp their seaports, refusing to dredge their River Niger and other inland Rivers to the sea, and threatening to shut down or downgrade their International Airport at Enugu.
“Whether it is lawful for the defendants to acquire a Radio Licence and set up a Radio Station for the Fulani herdsmen and pay them or offer to pay them the sum of N100 billion without doing the same thing for members of the claimant who are also Nigerian citizens, and if the answer is in the negative or affirmative, whether the Defendants’ acts in acquiring the said Radio Station for the Fulani Herdsmen and paying them or offering to pay them the sum of N100 billion without according the same favour or privilege to members of the Claimant being equal citizens of the same country constitute a violation of Section 42(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and therefore, unlawful.
“Whether the Defendants by registering Nigeria as a member of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) in 1986 and licensing an Islamic Sharia Bank in Nigeria under the 1999 Constitution contrary to Section 10 of the Constitution of Nigeria have violated the Constitution and turned Nigeria into an Islamic country; and if the answer is in the affirmative, whether the members of the Claimant have the right to dissociate themselves from the Defendants and refuse to be called the citizens of an Islamic country in the exercise of their right to freedom of worship, freedom of association and self-determination as a people, ” the statement among other things read.