Renowned lawyer, Mike Ozekhome has reacted to the declaration of Nnamdi Kanu and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as terrorists.
A statement he signed said instances cited by the defence headquarters were not sufficient to label the agitators terrorists.
The military had explained that the declaration was made for the following reasons: “The formation of a Biafra Secret Service; Claimed formation of Biafra National Guard; Unauthorised blocking of public access roads.
“Extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks; militant possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles among others) on a military patrol on 10 September 2017.
“Physical confrontation of troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB actors at a check point on 11 September 2017 and also attempts to snatch their rifles.”
In his position, Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), noted: “I do not believe the instances cited by the Defence Headquarters to justify declaring IPOB a terrorist organization.
“The last time I checked, I can’t remember any of such organisation operating in the country being declared terrorist organisations.
“The herdsmen who go on rampage daily, maiming, raping, killing; those responsible for the Agatu massacre; Shiites massacre, Southern Kaduna pogrom, indiscriminate killings, brazen quit notices’ givers, across Nigeria, etc, have never been arrested, prosecuted, let alone been proscribed and stigmatised as terrorist organisations.
“We must surely have and operate two sets of laws for two sets of people in Nigeria. Nigeria, we hail thee. A government should be seen to be fair to all component parts of Nigeria.”
In his reaction, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said the executive arm of government had the power to make the declaration.
“It (the declaration) should be from the executive and I believe the military has the mandate of the President.
“The president has not said anything to the contrary, so I believe they are speaking the opinion of the President”.
Another SAN, Samson Ameh, said the Buhari had the right to declare the group a terrorist organisation.
“The president has the right to make such a declaration. He has peculiar rights regarding the security of a country. It’s like declaring a war, in America, it is called the affirmative action.
“That is what we call the police action here. Also, the Inspector-General of Police can make the declaration on behalf of the President”.