— BELOW IS THE ENTIRE UNEDITED PETITION AS FILED:
— Dated: December 5, 2017
IN THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS (THE COMMISSION) HOLDEN AT BANJUL, THE GAMBIA
To: The Secretary or Chairman of the Commission
Emergency Communication By:
Adulbert Legal Services
On Behalf Of:
1. Nnamdi Kanu; AND
2. Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB)
Federal Republic of Nigeria
COMMUNICATION BROUGHT PURSUANT TO THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES RIGHTS
1. Adulbert Legal Services (as a Legal Representative), by and through Barrister Aloy Ejimakor(the undersigned Counsel), hereby files this Emergency Communication (hereafter: Communication) pursuant to the pertinent Articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (hereafter; the ‘Charter’); Rule 111 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission; and the inherent powers and jurisdiction of the Commission.
2. Particulars Of The Communication Are As Follows:
I. Names of Victims/Complainants:
a) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu
b) Indigenous People of Biafra (hereafter: IPOB).
II. Age of Victims:
a) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is 50 (fifty) years old as he was borne on September 25, 1967.
b) IPOB has been existence for more than 3 (three) years as it became legally registered in the United Kingdom on July 22, 2014 (See Attachment A).
III. Nationality of Victims:
a) Nnamdi Kanu is a citizen of Federal Republic of Nigeria by birth and a citizen of United Kingdom by naturalization.
b) IPOB is a juristic entity by virtue of its registration in the United Kingdom.
IIII. Occupation of Victims:
a) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is a Radio Broadcaster; an Activist for Human and Peoples Rights; and the Leader Of IPOB.
b) IPOB is an organization formed and engaged in the peaceful pursuit of the group or solidarity rights of the peoples of the defunct Republic of Biafra to self-determination, or to determine how they should be governed.
V. Address of Victims:
a) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s address is at: Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.
b) IPOB registered address is at: No 30 Sandlings Close, Pilkingston Road, London, United Kingdom SE15 3SY.
VI. Victims’ Telephone Numbers:
a) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s telephone number is unknown at this time but this Legal Representative can receive telephone calls/messages on his behalf.
b) The telephone number for IPOB in the United Kingdom is (via Carol Munday): +44 7982 906969.
3. Particulars of the Respondent:
This Communication is brought against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
4. Particulars of the violations:
I. On October 14, 2015, Nnamdi Kanu was arrested in Lagos, Nigeria, few days after his arrival from his base in London, United Kingdom. He was subsequently charged with offenses relating to his broadcasts on Radio Biafra from its location in London; and his agitation for a referendum on the creation of a separate State of Biafra from Nigeria.
II. During the course of his pre-trial detention, Nnamdi Kanu was granted bail several times by the High Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria disobeyed the court orders and continued to detain Nnamdi Kanu. However, in the course of time and after 18 months in detention without trial, Nnamdi Kanu was finally released on bail granted by Justice Binta Nyako, Honorable Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria. See Attachment B.
III. Pursuant to his release, Nnamdi Kanu returned to his ancestral home at Afara-Ukwu in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State of Nigeria, where he stayed and awaited his next court date scheduled for October 17th 2017.
IIII. Beginning from the date of his release from detention to the date of writing this Communication, Nnamdi Kanu has not been charged with any new offenses and the court has not ordered that he be re-arrested for any reason whatsoever.
V. On or about September 12th2017, and lasting till about September 15th 2017, the Nigerian Army surrounded and began to launch a series of armed attacks/invasion of Nnamdi Kanu’s home at Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State of Nigeria. The Army used live bullets and other lethal munitions in the course of the attacks; and several people including Nnamdi Kanu, his parents, his siblings, children, women, the elderly, and numerous visitors were at the said home during the attacks. All occupants of the said home were marooned and trapped inside the premises during the attacks that lasted two days. See Attachment C.
VI. At the end of the attacks, Nnamdi Kanu’s home was badly damaged, several people were killed, others were wounded; and the Nigerian Army ‘captured’ several people alive and took them to an unknown location. See Attachment D.
VII. Since after the said Nigerian Army attacks, Nnamdi Kanu has not been seen or heard from, either in the public or by those who normally would have heard from him. And the Nigerian Army has refused to disclose whether he was killed, wounded or taken into their custody. See Attachment E.
VIII. During the course of the said Army attacks, the Nigerian Army, in a published statement, declared IPOB a terrorist organization, apparently to justify its indiscriminate use of lethal force against Nnamdi Kanu and members of IPOB in Umuahia, Abia State and other States of the Southeast of Nigeria, which Federal Republic of Nigeria has, without lawful purpose, subjected to military occupation since September 10, 2017. See Attachment F.
IX. This Legal Representative, in its capacity as Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, preferred two separate Petitions to the Attorney-General of Nigeria and the President of the Senate, variously protesting the military occupation, the Army attacks against Nnamdi Kanu, and the Army’s unconstitutional and dangerous declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organization. (See Attachment G&H). The contents of these Attachments, wherever relevant, are hereby incorporated and made part of this Communication, as if fully rewritten herein.
X. Consequent upon sub-paragraphs ‘VII & IX’ above, the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria publicly declared that it is unconstitutional for the Nigeria Army to declare IPOB a terrorist organization. See Attachment I.
XI. However, on September 21, 2017, Justice Kafarati of the Nigerian Federal High Court, Abuja, made an exparte order (without prior notice to IPOB) declaring IPOB a terrorist organization and further ordering its proscription pursuant to anexparte (without notice) Application brought before the court on September 20, 2017 by the Attorney-General of Nigeria. (See Attachment J). This order contravened a previous and subsisting final order declaring that IPOB is not a terrorist organization, that it is not an unlawful society, and that its members including its Leader NnamdiKanu have not committed any act of terrorism within the meaning of Nigeria’s Terrorism Prevention Act. (See Attachment K)
XII. Consequent upon subparagraph XI above, the Attorney-General of Nigeria began to take formal and executory steps to gazette IPOB as a terrorist organization. These steps include declaring as criminals/terrorists the millions of IPOB members worldwide; declaring as a criminal/terrorist the Leader of IPOB Nnamdi Kanu; interdiction and confiscation of monies, bank accounts and property of IPOB, its members and it’s Leader; the impending prosecution of millions of IPOB members in Nigeria; that IPOB is an unlawful society; the inability of IPOB members to participate in civic and political affairs of Nigeria; the stigmatization of millions of IPOB members worldwide; the wholesome defamation of IPOB members as terrorists worldwide; and other negative impacts yet to be determined.
XIII. IPOB is a nonviolent group that operates in the open worldwide and in accordance with law, and in fact is universally respected in many countries of the world where it is also registered as a lawful organization. Its Leader, Nnamdi Kanu is nonviolent and, prior to his current political trial in Nigeria, he has never been convicted of any crime in Nigeria and the United Kingdom where he has variously resided since attaining adulthood. It is telling that some members of the international community, notably United States and United Kingdom have publicly rejected the said Court order designating IPOB a terrorist organization. See Attachment L & M.
XIIII. The declaration of IPOB as a terrorist group by the Federal Republic of Nigeria is discriminatory because there are other non-Igbo organizations in Nigeria, some confirmedly violent, some not, all geared to fighting/agitating for one right or the other for members of their ethnic group, but which have not been declared terrorist organization(s). These organizations include the Arewa Youths (mainly of Hausa/Fulani ethnic stock), the Odua Peoples Congress (mainly of Yoruba ethnic stock), Miyeti Allah or Fulani herdsmen (mainly of Fulani ethnic stock), Niger Delta Avengers (mainly of Ijaw ethnic stock), etc.
5. Reasons for the urgency of this Communication:
I. The declaration that IPOB is a terrorist organization and that its members commit terrorist acts has empowered and emboldened the Nigerian Army and other Nigerian security agencies, acting under color of law, to harass, intimidate, arrest or even kill or torture IPOB members and any member of the Igbo ethnic group suspected to be an IPOB member.
II. Assuming he managed to retreat to safety alive, Nnamdi Kanu (as a Leader of ‘terrorists’) is in imminent danger of being shot and killed on sight (under color of law) by the Nigerian and/or other Nigerian security forces still at-large on various checkpoints and are otherwise on reconnaissance, cordon and search in the environs and outlying areas of Nnamdi Kanu’shomestead at Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State of Nigeria; and at checkpoints in all the five States of the Southeast of Nigeria that abut the wider geographical area of Umuahia where Nnamdi Kanu was last seen alive.
III. Millions of IPOB members outside Nigeria are in imminent and present danger of being harassed, intimidated, interdicted, arrested or even killed as terrorists upon their return to Nigeria.
IIII. Monies, bank accounts, other monetary instruments, chattels and real properties belonging to Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and its members are in imminent danger of being confiscated by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
6. Provisions of the Charter violated:
I. ARTICLE 2: Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, language, political or any other opinion, national and social origin. This was violated by facts averred in Paragraph 4(XIV).
II. ARTICLE 3: Every individual shall be equal before the law; and shall be entitled to equal protection of the law. This was violated by facts averred in Paragraph 4(XIV).
III. ARTICLE 4: Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right. This was violated by facts averred in Paragraph 4 (V)
IIII. ARTICLE 5: Every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status. All forms of exploitation and degradation of man, particularly torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment shall be prohibited. This was violated by facts averred in Paragraph 4 (XIV).
V. ARTICLE 6: Every individual shall have the right to liberty and to the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his freedom except for reasons and conditions previously laid down by law. In particular, no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained. This was violated by facts averred in Paragraph 4 (XIV).
VI. ARTICLE 7: Every individual shall have the right to have his cause heard. This comprises: The right to an appeal to competent national organs against acts of violating his fundamental rights as recognized and guaranteed by conventions, laws, regulations and customs in force; and the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty by a competent court or tribunal; the right to defense, including the right to be defended by counsel of his choice; and the right to be tried within a reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal. This was violated by facts averred in Paragraph 4 (XI).
ARTICLE 9: Every individual shall have the right to express and disseminate his opinions within the law. This was violated by facts averred in various sub-paragraphs of Paragraph 4
ARTICLE 10: Every individual shall have the right to free association provided that he abides by the law. This was violated by facts averred in various sub-paragraphs of Paragraph 4
ARTICLE 11: Every individual shall have the right to assemble freely with others. The exercise of this right shall be subject only to necessary restrictions provided for by law, in particular those enacted in the interest of national security, the safety, health, ethics and rights and freedoms of others. This was violated by facts averred in various sub-paragraphs of Paragraph 4.
ARTICLE 12: Every individual shall have the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of a State provided he abides by the law; and every individual shall have the right to leave any country including his own, and to return to his country.
ARTICLE 14: The right to property shall be guaranteed. It may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community and in accordance with the provisions of appropriate laws. This was violated by facts averred in Paragraph 4 (XII).
ARTICLE 19: All peoples shall be equal; they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by another. This was violated by facts averred in Paragraph 4 (XIV).
ARTICLE 20: All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen. This was violated by facts averred in various sub-paragraphs of Paragraph 4
6. Particulars of the violators:
I. Nigerian Army.
Headquarters, Area 7, Garki, FCT Abuja, Nigeria.
II. General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Staff, Nigerian Army.
Nigeria Army Headquarters, Area 7, Garki, FCT Abuja, Nigeria.
III. Abubakar Malami, the Attorney- General of Nigeria.
Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Secretariat, Central District, Garki, FCT Abuja, Nigeria.
8. Witnesses to the violations:
I. Professor T. Uzodinma Nwala.
Phone No: +234 807 816 2248;
Address: Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria.
II. Abada Agu.
Phone No: +234 7033477727;
Address: Umuna-Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria.
III. Pastor Pascal.
Phone No: +234 8031122079; Address: Umuori, Owerri,
Imo State, Nigeria.
IIII. Chinedu Njoku.
Phone No: +234 8146466747;
Address: Osisioma, Abia State, Nigeria.
V. Greg Nwadike.
Phone No: +234 8099088443;
Address: Umuna-Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria.
VI. Carol Munday.
Phone No: +44 7982 906969;
Address: London, United Kingdom.
IIII. Dr. Jeremiah C. Chukwuokolo
Phone No: +234 8035372962
Address: Enugu State, Nigeria.
9. Documentary Evidence:
The documentary evidence/proof of the violations/averments are as demonstrated by the above-referenced Attachements.
10. Domestic Remedies:
All domestic remedies have been made impracticable or fruitless by the following circumstances:
I. Despite the fact that the order declaring IPOB as a terrorist organization was exparte (without notice), Respondent State made it a virtual final order by proceeding to gazette the Order and has otherwise taken several highly publicized steps to implement the Order both in Nigeria and worldwide. Such further steps taken by the Respondent State in the execution of the said Order include but is not limited to imminent seizure of monies, monetary instruments, bank accounts, and property belonging to IPOB, its members and its Leader Nnamdi Kanu.
II. Respondent State (through the Nigerian Army) is on armed manhunt for Nnamdi Kanu, thus making it impossible for him – assuming he is alive – to effectively pursue any domestic remedy that may be available under the circumstances. Such domestic remedies are usually pursued in the open and in plain sight, and not secretly; and with assurances that Nnamdi Kanu, Luke every other Nigerian or African, should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
III. Assuming that there is any prospect of pursuing domestic remedy, it has been made impossible by the fact that Nnamdi Kanu has been missing since on or about September 12, 2017. No domestic remedy will be meaningful if it is not led by Nnamdi Kanu, who is not only the prime victim but one who is possessed of the personal legal standing to pursue such domestic remedies.
11. Other International Bodies:
This matter has neither been decided, nor is it pending before any other international human rights body.
12. Reliefs Sought:
On behalf of the Victims/Complainants, Legal Representative respectfully prays the Commission:
I. To invoke its powers under Rule 111 of its Rules of Procedure and adopt provisional measures, urging the Respondent State not to take any further action that will cause irreparable damage to Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and its members until this case has been heard by the Commission.
II. To adopt other urgent measures as it sees fit in the circumstances of this case to protect the victims in the interim.
III. To take such further and final measures consistent with its powers and discretions to protect the victims.
Respectfully Submitted by:
ADULBERT LEGAL SERVICES
Barrister & Solicitor of Supreme Court of Nigeria
Legal Representatives to Nnamdi Kanu & IPOB
+234 8032651660 email@example.com
Address Within Jurisdiction:
Adulbert Legal Services,
11 Ukpo Close,
Off Oro-Ago Crescent,
FCT Abuja, Nigeria.
Address For Filing:
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Bijilo Annex Layout,
Kombo North District
P.O. Box 673
Banjul, The Gambia.
Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, IPOB General Counsel at a public event