Below is the press release by ASLADD as made available to news correspondents in Akwa yesterday:
EKWULOBIA CRISES: IPOB IS CONFUSING APPLES WITH ORANGES
The attention of the Anambra State Lawyers in Defence of Democracy [ASLADD] has been drawn to a statement released by Emma Powerful for the IPOB on the clash that was reported to have occurred between the Nigerian Police and some IPOB members at Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. In the said press release, the author labored strenuously to share the culpability of the crises between the DPO of Ekwulobia Police Station and “individuals hiding under non-existent Anambra Lawyers”.
We start by saying that the Anambra State Lawyers in Defence of Democracy [ASLADD] is composed of eminent Legal Practitioners from Anambra State who practice both within and outside the shores of the state.
Without mincing words, the foremost consideration that propelled the coming together of these fine minds is to robustly protect democracy in Anambra State which has come under a massive threat by the extra-legal and anarchist method introduced by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in his push to carve out an imaginary fiefdom for himself where delusively he would be presiding over his serfs like a feudal emperor who must not be opposed by his subjects without fatal consequences.
It is rather ridiculous that the author of the IPOB statement claimed that our group is both “faceless” and “non-existent” and yet he labored profusely to apportion blame and culpability to a “non-existent” group. This is purely an inverted logic. It is a matter of ordinary knowledge that lawyers in every society [by virtue of their professional calling and standing] are public figures. True indeed, the Convener of this august assembly is Mr. Johnmary Chukwukasi Jideobi.
This is a gentleman committed to the defence of human rights, rule of law and constitutionalism. It is on record that our Convener stood tall and firm in robust defence of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu since he was arrested in 2015. As a matter of fact, it was our Convener who put up a pro-bono appearance with Mr. Vincent Obetta on the 17th day of December, 2015 before the Honourable Justice A.F.A. Ademola where the Mr. Nnamdi Kanu was granted bail for the 2nd time.
The records of proceedings in charge no: FHC/ABJ/383/2015 would reveal that our Convener has put up many pro-bono appearances in defence of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before the Honourable Justices; A.F.A. Ademola, A.R. Mohammed and James Tsoho. Our Convener has equally on different occasions backed up his courtroom support with strongly-worded letters to President Muhammed Buhari, Chief John Oyegun, National President of the Nigerian Bar Association and the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation urging them to see good reasons why the order of court granting Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Rtd. Colonel Dasuki and El-Zakzaki bail ought to be respected in total obeisance to the dictates of rule of law and for the preservation of our constitutional democracy.
These tons of letters are readily accessible as they were well published and documented at the offices of their recipients. This is quite apart from the numerous legal articles contributed by our Convener aimed at rallying the support of human rights activists to have Mazi Nnamdi Kanu freed from Kuje. While still in prison, our Convener has had to visit and meet with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on more than five different occasions all in a bid to strategize on how to use the instrumentality of the law to set him free from the gulag. What has our convener not done to have Mazi Nnamdi Kanu breathe the air of freedom he is enjoying today even at a great personal risk [even at a time when even the highest political office holders in the South-East region were shy of identifying with Nnamdi Kanu’s ordeals]. We challenge the IPOB to controvert these hardcore and overwhelming facts. It was William George who once rightly posited that “ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge, which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good.”
While Immanuel Kant [German Philosopher] appreciates that “Ingratitude is the essence of vileness”, James Thomas [Scottish Musician] rightly concludes that “Ingratitude is treason to mankind”. It is not surprising to us that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu does not brook the word “gratitude” in his vocabulary of living just as he has sufficiently demonstrated that those core values handed down to us by our forebears that characterize Igbo civilization have evaporated from his menu of manners.
It is therefore rather unfortunate that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu [a huge beneficiary of our legal prowess and professional benevolence] could turn around and accuse our noble body of being responsible for Ekwulobia crises. Yes we dared to challenge him on the futility of his attempt at truncating Anambra election where he has no legitimate interest in whatever becomes the outcome of that democratic exercise. In our considered view, his home state [Abia], with deep humility and respect, needs more help to rescue her from dilapidated infrastructures than our dear Anambra State that currently shines the light in most indices of governance.
All this madness being orchestrated by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is ultimately aimed at possibly setting the polity ablaze [using the fuel of hate and intimidating speeches] in the phantom hope that the weighty criminal charges hanging on his neck would drown in the ensuing melee. In achieving this devious intention [which is a mere fishing expedition in the desert], Mazi Nnamdi Kanu would not mind using as many uniformed and less-privileged compatriots as are available as his canon-fodders.
We are compelled to state for the umpteenth time that we shall never fold our alms and watch Mazi Nnamdi Kanu pull our sacred constitution apart, pollute the system with rotten speeches of putrid hatred, acrimonious vituperations and denigrating venoms while pouring acerbic expletives on the foundations of our democracy in a manner that is capable of bringing an organised society to a perilous end.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should be rest assured that if we could use our legal arsenal to rescue him from the Kuje gulag after waging a very deadly and fierce legal battle on his behalf against the Federal Government of Nigeria [amidst all odds], we equally have more than what it takes [in our legal armoury] to decisively end his impunity and defend democracy [from his tyranny, imposition and buffoonery] in Anambra State which is our primary constituency. Participating in an election is purely discretionary on the part of the citizens. But we can never accept a situation where Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB is deploying violent means to scare law-abiding Anambrarians away from the polls even to the point of the Kanus repeatedly issuing assassination threat to our Convener for which human rights communities around the globe have adequately been put on notice.
We hereby re-iterate our call on the relevant authorities to urgently commence a high-powered clinical investigation into the activities of the IPOB. Biafra is a sacred ideology which is not commodious enough to admit acts of outlawry, criminal intimidations and charlatanism under its canopied ambience.
In signing off this statement, we find it so unfortunate and discomforting that the conducts of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has forced us to address him in the very words we addressed President Muhammed Buhari when we wrote him on the 6th of January, 2016 condemning his refusal to free Mazi Nnamdi Kanu despite an existing Court Order. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should listen to this:
“Sir, all the existing Supreme Court authorities and our penal books lean heavily in support of the long-established postulation that disobedience of Court Orders (otherwise called contempt of Court) is an abomination of the rankest specie just as it is an anathema in every democracy worth the name as it holds the key to the floodgates of anarchy and societal destruction. Condemning this cancerous vice, our own Supreme Court, in the case of Hart v. Hart (1991) 21 N.S.C.C. (Pt. 1) 184 at 199, had these unkind words for those who disobey Court orders (contemnors);
“I would like to state that obedience to Orders of Courts is fundamental to the good order, peace and stability of the Nigerian nation. The ugly alternative is a painful recrudescence of triumph of brute force or anarchy, a resort to our old system of settlement by means of bow and arrows, machetes and guns or, now, even more sophisticated weapons of war.
"Disobedience to an order of Court should, therefore, be seen as an offence directed not against the personality of the Judge who made the Order, but as a calculated act of subversion of peace, law, and order in Nigeria society. Obedience to every Order of Court is therefore a duty which every citizen who believes in peace and stability of the Nigerian State owes to the nation.
"To allow Court orders to be disobeyed would be to tread the road toward anarchy. If orders of the Court can be treated with disrespect, the whole administration of justice is brought into scorn…If the remedies that the Court grants to correct wrongs can be ignored, then, there will be nothing left for each person but to take the law into his own hands. Loss of respect for the Court will quickly result in the destruction of our society.”
How time flies! The same impunity and disobedience of Court Order levied against our president last year is what Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is gleefully practicing today. If Mazi Nnamdi Kanu had obeyed the Ruling of the Court anchoring his bail to many conditions [most of which he has violated even though he earlier agreed to them], the Ekwulobia tragedy would not have occurred. It was in the process of disobeying the Court Order [banning him from organizing and/or attending rallies] that Ekwulobia tragedy eventuated.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, his IPOB and the whole world can now see where the culpability of Ekwulobia tragedy lies. Unlike Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB that offered no word(s) of sympathy, encouragement and condolence to the deceased and victims of the 6th August gruesome, mind-boggling and ghoulish butchery at Ozubulu, we [on our part] humbly pray the Good Lord to show mercy to the victim(s) of Ekwulobia tragedy, graciously lift the light of His countenance upon the departed and grant the dead a kind admittance into his kingdom.
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