Bruce Fein, American lawyer to Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has said the Nigerian government ought to be the ones on trial, not Kanu.
Fein in a release obtained by SaharaReporters on Thursday stated that what the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, was doing with his troops in Ukraine was “tea party” compared to what the Muhammadu Buhari government “is inflicting on the Biafran leader and Biafra.”
The IPOB leader has been detained in the facility of Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services, for over 10 months having been arrested since June 27, 2021.
He had been arraigned several times before the Federal High Court, Abuja over charges of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism, and illegal possession of firearms, among others, with the latest court sitting on Wednesday.
The court, on Wednesday, had declined to grant bail to the detained IPOB leader.
Justice Binta Nyako had held that Kanu must explain the reason why he breached the previous bail that was given to him before he could enjoy another favourable discretion from the court.
Reacting in a statement on Thursday, Fein said Kanu should not be the one facing trial; rather it should be the Nigerian government.
He said, “The Fulani-controlled government of Nigeria should be on trial, not Nnamdi Kanu. The former’s prosecution of the latter turns the law on its head—from an instrument of justice to a weapon of oppression.
“Judicial notice can be taken of the following: The Nigerian government attempted to assassinate Nnamdi Kanu in September 2017 for exercising his constitutional and international law right to self-determination by the people of Biafra.
“The Abia High Court has awarded MNK N5billion in damages for the violation. The attempted assassination disqualifies the Nigerian government from prosecuting MNK for lack of impartiality required by due process and international law.
“The Nigerian government continues to deny the people of Biafra their unalienable right to self-determination enshrined in jus cogens (mandatory) international law and Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
“The Nigerian government conspired with the Government of Kenya to kidnap and torture Nnamdi Kanu in June 2021. The Nigerian government conspired with the Government of Kenya to subject Nnamdi Kanu to extraordinary rendition to Abuja, Nigeria, in violation of international law and relevant extradition treaties.
“Since his criminal extraordinary rendition, Nnamdi Kanu has been denied access to counsel of his choice in violation of international human rights law and the Nigerian Constitution—including myself on multiple occasions.
“The Nigerian government speaking through Chief Judge Tosho had authorised a secret trial of Nnamdi Kanu in hopes of concealing its planned criminal judicial murder of the defendant.
“The Nigerian government has denied MNK a universally recognised presumption of innocence by punishing him with 11 months of cruel imprisonment without a crumb of admissible evidence of guilt submitted to a court of law. The Nigerian government has denied MNK a right to a trial within a reasonable time after detention despite its army of law enforcement resources by compounding delay upon delay for nearly a year and scampering away from a hard trial date.
“To underscore the stupendous magnitude of the Buhari-Malami-Nyako triumvirate’s denial of MNK’s international law and constitutional rights, a comparison with the due process received by Nazi leaders accused of the most unspeakable crimes in the history of mankind by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg is instructive.
“The Nazi leaders enjoyed access to counsel. MNK has not. The Nazi leaders enjoyed a presumption of innocence. MNK has not. The Nazi leaders received fair notice of the crimes alleged by the IMT prosecution team. The accusations against MNK are expressed at an infinite level of generality that confounds preparation of a defense.
“The accused Nazi leaders (some of which were acquitted) were tried based upon volumes of authenticated evidence and testimony subject to cross-examination. The Nigerian government has failed to adduce a shred of authenticated evidence or testimony subject to cross-examination—the greatest engine every invented for the discovery or truth.
“The accused Nazi leaders were prosecuted within 8 months after the conclusion of World War II. MNK has yet to receive a trial after 11 months of agonizing detention.
“Nigeria’s merciless lawlessness against MNK should thunder every day like a hammer on an anvil throughout world corridors of power until justice is done. What Russian President Putin is doing in Ukraine is a tea party compared to what the villainous Nigerian triumvirate is inflicting on the Biafran leader and Biafra. International ostracism and boycotts should be forthcoming accordingly.”