Proscribed Igbo separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has accused the Nigerian Supreme Court of employing delay tactics with the instrumentality of adjournments to subvert the cause of justice in the case of its incarcerated leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The Biafra agitation group which raised the alarm following a report by Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, announcing the cancellation of the date earlier scheduled for hearing of Kanu’s appeal, described the development as part of plans to keep Kanu in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) perpetually.
In a statement on Tuesday by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group expressed its disappointed at the tactics being employed by the court, noting that the Supreme Court’s reason that a September 14 date earlier scheduled for hearing of the case has caught up with its yearly vacation is flimsy and an afterthought.
Powerful said the development was the worst form of travesty of justice and height of the destruction of the rule of law.
“It was also our understanding that the September 14, 2023 adjournment was not granted as a matter of course,” the group said.
“Was it not in an open court that the Justices of the Supreme Court that sat on the Appeal on May 11, 2023, adjourned the matter to September 14, 2023?
“That date was carefully considered against the background of the Federal Government’s deliberate ploy to thwart the proceedings of that day by applying for time to file their papers even when they were clearly out of time.
“The Appeal was, consequently, adjourned to September 14 for definite hearing.
“If the current intention of the Supreme Court were not a rape of democracy and clear subversion of the course of justice, it would not have adjourned to September 14, 2023, without being guided by their diary, which contains the entire schedule of activities and holidays of the Supreme Court for the entire year?
“The Supreme Court should note that the world and, indeed, members of the public recognise that the “Stay of Execution” in a criminal trial is both criminal and unconstitutional, amounting to destruction of the tenets of the criminal law jurisprudence, because it is not supported by any judicial authority, extant laws or criminal practice direction of the Court of Appeal.
“The court should also note that contrary to the widespread misinformation, Kanu is being detained without any pending charge against him in any court of law, pointing out that it is against the law and Constitution of Nigeria,” the statement said.
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