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ECOWAS COURT FIXES 8 NOVEMBER TO COMMENCE HEARING IN THE CASE FILED BY THE LEADER OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA


 Hearing in the case ECW/CCJ/APP/06/16 brought by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, alleging the violation of his human rights by the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria been fixed for 8th November 2016 by ECOWAS Community Court of Justice.


A three member panel of judges of the Court presided over by its Vice President, Honourable Justice Micah Wilkins Wright decided on the new date on Wednesday, 5th October 2016 following a written request by the Defendant.


Mr Kanu, who has been detained by the Nigerian government since 14th October 2015 is a dual citizen of Nigeria and the United Kingdom and described himself as the Director of Radio Biafra, a registered body in the UK.


Furthermore, he claimed that his rights to personal integrity, privacy, fair trial, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, personal liberty, freedom of Association, private property, right to existence and right to self-determination had been violated by the defendant.


In the suit, the plaintiff also alleged that the defendant has disregarded several orders by national Courts of competent jurisdiction for his unconditional release and engaged in the killings, violent attacks and arrest of his unarmed supporters which are ‘unlawful and violates their fundamental human rights as enshrined in international legal instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory.


He described the action of the Nigerian government as a ‘serious breach of Nigeria’s human rights obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and other International Human Rights Treaties to which Nigeria is a State party.’


The plaintiff is therefore asking among other things for orders of the Court to hold the Nigerian government responsible for these human rights violations; compel the government and their agents to respect, protect and promote his human rights and right to life, liberty, freedom of movement and to own private property.


He is demanding amongst others, the release of his personal belongings allegedly seized during his arrest and a monetary compensation of 800 million USD for the ‘gross violation of his human rights.


On the panel with Hon. Justice Wright were Hon. Justice Yaya Boiro and Hon. Justice Alioune Sall.


In another case with suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/08/16 involving Dr. Tampa P. Alpha, and the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Court adjourned hearing until 10th November 2016 following the absence of the plaintiff.


Mr. Usman Ibrahim Kanu, Principal State Counsel, and Mr. Aaron Conteh, State Counsel represented the Republic of Sierra Leone.


On the panel were Honourable Justices Chijioke Friday Nwoke (presiding), Micah Wilkins Wright and Hameye Foune Mahalmadane.