Following an application for the secret trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) and Director of Radio Biafra, as well as two other people involved with him in the fight for Biafra, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, Labour, Health and Human Rights Development Centre has expressed complete disapproval over the said plans of the federal government to try the trio secretively.
According to a statement issued by Ayodele Akele, the Executive Director of the centre, the advocates are crusading for the self-determination of their indigenous people of Biafra, which is in no way against the law as it is written in the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights,(Ratification and Enforcement Act) Article 20 to which Nigerian State is a signatory.
The statement reads:
“Secret trial under any guise is totally unacceptable, we condemn it in strongest term and unequivocally any attempt to try Nnamdi Kanu and co or any other Nigerian for that matter in camera or in secrecy!
“What is the APC regime of President Buhari trying to hide from the members of the public? A re-militarization of Nigeria society? The truth is that since Buhari became president, Nigerians feels like a country under a military junta once again!
“It is regrettable that the general insecurity, rampaging insurgency in the North East of Nigeria (in spite of FGN claimed technical defeat of Boko Haram), the yet to be rescued chibok girls, welfare of Nigerian people, instead of job creation, we are witnessing job massacre, government unwillingness to pay the miserable N18, 000 minimum wage for workers.
“Houses are not been built for poor masses, roads remain death traps, many people because they cannot afford the cost of medical care, no unemployment benefits for jobless youths, our economy derailing, rule of law being disrespected, while the change agenda has no direction yet.
“For the records, when Nelson Mandela was arrested, detained for arms struggle and even classified as a terrorist, vicious as the then apartheid regime in South Africa, Mandela was not tried in camera.
“The trial of Saddam Hussein over allegation of heinous crime against humanity was open. We were all privileged to watch the trials as long as it lasted in our bedrooms/sitting rooms here in Nigeria from far away Baghdad, Iraq.
“Even the trial of and conviction of Bin Laden’s former driver Hal Dam for terrorism was open and not secret. The trial of the former President of Liberia Charles Taylor, at Hague’s was open.
“The famous first ever treason trial in Nigeria, in the first republic against the then opposition leader, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was open and not shrouded in secrecy in spite of deep-rooted animosities and political differences.
“In recent years,leaders of ethnic groups with charges of treason or treasonable felony were never tried secretly. Examples include Fredrick Fasehun, Gani Adams (OPC), Mujahid Dokubo Asari (NDVF), and Ralph Uwazuruike of MASSOB etc. Why the double standard in the case of Kanu and others? Are we a different human species with bundle of contradictions, vendetta and acrimonious?”
The group also appealed to all Nigerian citizens to lend their voice to this issue, pointing out that secret trials no matter the reason for it, is able to cause harm and is a certain medium through which the Buhari-led administration will convict anyone who seems to be a threat to his government without evidence.