Tensions High as Kanu Goes to Court Today, Justice Binta Under Intense Pressure
By: Ogu Edozie Williams
From ordinary citizens in the Nigerian state to groups, organizations, international observers and world leaders, it is distinct to all that Nnamdi Kanu is a prisoner of conscience as his unconditional release has severally been ordered by competent courts of jurisdictions yet the Executive powers have denied him his constitutional right to freedom as ordered by the courts.
Courts orders have been disobeyed, amendments of charges and re-arraignments have followed.
One has been left to wonder whether the Nigerian state is not abreast with the due prerequisite of arrest: that a suspect should only be arrested when you have investigated and found substantial evidence(s) against him; and not the other way round: arresting a suspect and then start groping for false, unprovable, unsubstantiated allegations against him.
And when court rules in favour of the suspect, granting him unconditional freedom, for obvious lack of evidences against him; disobedience of the order, amendment and re-arraignment of the suspect become inevitable until court rules in favour of the government.
This disobedience to courts’ orders, amendment of charges against Nnamdi Kanu and re-arraignment have not only put the Nigerian state on the list of countries that mock democracy but also among the countries that are heading towards anarchy.
Everyone, including Justice Binta Nyako, knows that Nnamdi Kanu did not commit any offence because self-determination is a universal right as declared by United Nations and domesticated by the Nigerian government.
Common sense, even those that have committed treason, shows that treasonous fellows conceive, incubate and hatch their plans with high level of secrecy so that their aim(s) would be achieved. It is not something to be broadcast on radio.
Having seen Nnamdi Kanu’s approach as an attention-seeking method, and the charges against him lacking in evidence, Justice Binta Nyako is expected to quash the remaining charges she sustained against him because the international community is very much interested in the case and is, therefore, watching closely to see whether Binta’s court will restore the battered image of the state.
But the question is not much of whether Justice Binta Nyako will quash the charges that lack evidence preferred against Nnamdi Kanu and co, the uncertainty remains whether President Muhamadu Buhari would toe his usual path of contempt to courts’ injunctions.
Many persons, groups, international figures and leaders have urged Buhari to obey his state’s court order that granted Nnamdi Kanu unconditional freedom, but he has hitherto refused.
Many people have also urged him to grant his political prisoners freedom since he came back to Nigeria alive through the mercy of God, but he is yet to do so.
But let’s be optimistic that he would venture to dust off some blemishes on his already battered image.
Let’s believe that he will reminisce into his Chatham House speech during his presidential campaign of 2015 and retrace his steps to resuscitate and subsequently consolidate the shattered democracy he deteriorated in Nigeria.
Let’s be positive that his days of ailment, treatment in London and his gradual recuperation would have taught him to remember his oath of office.
Let’s believe that as Justice Binta follows the law and gives judgement on Nnamdi Kanu’s case today, Buhari will obey whether it favours him or not.