Kano Elders Ask Court To Hasten South-East’s Exit From Nigeria

Kano Elders Ask Court To Hasten South-East’s Exit From Nigeria

A Federal High Court in Abuja has been asked to compel the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to hasten the exit of the South-Eastern region out of Nigeria before concluding on-going amendment to the country’s constitution.

The request for court order to compel hastening of South East exit from Nigeria formed one of the three prayers sought in a suit marked, FHC/ABJ/ CS/538/2021, instituted by a group of elders and politicians from Kano State led by Nastura Ashir Shariff, Balarabe Rufa’I, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman and Aminu Adam.

In their suit, they averred in a supporting affidavit that their action was informed by the need to stem the tide of vio­lence and destruction be­ing allegedly occasioned by the agitation for seces­sion, championed by the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indig­enous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Plaintiffs claimed that they do not want a repeat of the 1967 to 1970 civil war that cost the nation many innocent lives and property worth billions of naira.

Listed as defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Senate Presi­dent, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly.

The plaintiffs prayed the court for the following reliefs:

“A declaration that, by the combined effect of the provisions of section 4 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nige­ria (as amended), and Ar­ticles 1, 2, and 20(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Rati­fication and Enforcement) Act 2004, the 4th defendant (the National Assembly) is empowered to set in motion a framework for a referendum to allow the South-Eastern region of the Federal Republic of Ni­geria to decide on their bid for self-determination.

“A declaration that in view of the provisions of Articles 1, 2, 4, 14 and 20(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforce­ment) Act 2004, the 2nd and 3rd defendants (the Senate President and House of Reps Speaker) have the power to call for a joint session of both chambers of the 4th defendant to de­liberate on the agitation for self-determination by the South-Eastern states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“An order directing the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants to provide a framework that will pave way for the self-determination of the South-Eastern states so as to leave the geographical entity called Nigeria before any further step is taken to further amend the constitu­tion of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The first plaintiff in the suit, Shariff, stated in the supporting affidavit he deposed to that IPOB, founded by Nnamdi Kanu has been agitating for self-determination by way of creation of the indepen­dent state of Biafra away from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, has assigned the case to Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo and has been fixed for November 1. 2021 for hearing.

Meanwhile, Gov. Abdul­lahi Ganduje of Kano State has said secession is not the way out of the current challenges afflicting the country.

Ganduje said this at the 2nd quarterly public lec­ture series of the All Pro­gressives Congress (APC) Press Corps on Thursday in Abuja.

He recommended dia­logue as a panacea that should be embraced by se­cessionists to address per­ceived grievances.

The theme of the lec­ture, which was attended by APC chieftains, mem­bers of State Executive Councils and legislators, was, ‘Sustaining a United and Indivisible Nigeria: A Myth or Reality’.

“Let me repeat here that Nigeria is a united and in­divisible country; our con­stitution has taken care of that, I don’t see secession as the way out of the cur­rent challenges afflicting the nation.

“Instead, advocates of secession should have a change of heart and I rec­ommend dialogue as a cru­cial option for addressing their problems.

“Besides, there is a Na­tional Assembly where some of the grievances can be addressed,” Gandu­je said.

According to him, di­alogue is a far better al­ternative that costs less than consequences of the wedge that had been erect­ed to frustrate more flow of conversations between government and citizens to arrive at a national con­sensus.

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