Court okays judicial review of lawyers’ request for Buhari’s impeachment

Tokunbo David
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari© AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews Nigeria’s President Muhammadu BuhariFederal High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State has approved a judicial review of the suit requesting it to compel the National Assembly to begin impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ilesa branch, Mr. Kanmi Ajibola and a human rights activist, Mr. Suleiman Adeniyi, had urged the court to compel the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceeding against the president.

In his ruling, Justice Maurine Onyetenu granted leave to the lawyers to commence process of seeking its intervention to compel the National Assembly to perform the action of beginning the process for President Buhari’s impeachment.

The lawyers need to first seek and obtain leave of court by motion ex parte before beginning judicial review. This will entail the National Assembly being heard.

The plaintiffs had three months ago written to both the lower and the upper chambers of the National Assembly on the need to impeach President Buhari, citing alleged constitutional breaches by the president and threatened that they would approach the court if they failed to act accordingly.

But when the lawmakers failed to comply, they filed a suit asking for an order of mandamus to compel both the Senate and the House of Representatives to start the impeachment proceedings against the president.

In the suit filed on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, Adeniyi and Ajibola hinged their arguments on four grounds on why the National Assembly should impeach the president.

In the motion ex parte, the duo claimed that in flagrant violation of the 1999 constitution, President Buhari contested election, won and was sworn in as the president on May 29, 2015 without possessing the basic constitutional requirements, which would have qualified him to contest for the election.

They further alleged that the president, in flagrant violation of section 137 (1) (j) of the 1999 constitution presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the purpose of the 2015 presidential election that brought him to the office of the president

Besides, they accused the president of treating the orders of the court with disdain and abusing the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at will, particularly from the angle of the observance of the federal character as contained in section 14 of the constitution.

“The 4th Respondent on the 29th day of May 2015, took an oath of office, among others, to the effect that, he would rule in accordance to and protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly section 14 (2) (b) which stipulates that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.

“In the contrary, the 4th Respondent has proved to be unable to guarantee the security of lives and property of the citizens of the federal Republic of Nigeria in fulfillment of his oath of Office. The herdsmen killings of the innocent citizens under the 4th Respondent have been uncountable, unbearable and unprecedented overheating figures in the globe.

“The 4th Respondent in contravention of the due process and sections 80 and 81 of the 1999 constitution spent about $496 million on the purchase of Tucano Jets without the approval of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as required by the law.

“The 4th Respondent ordered to be withdrawing money from the public fund of the Federation without the approval of the National Assembly or the authorization of its act and same used for the purchase of Tucano Jets.

“The 4th Respondent has committed several impeachable offences, that is, gross misconduct.

“By the provision of section 143 of the 1999 constitution, the 1st to 3rd Respondents (The Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly) have the statutory duty to impeach the 4th Respondent as the president and Commander in – Chief of Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on gross misconduct.

“The 1st to 3rd Respondents have closed their eyes to the gross misconduct of the 4th Respondent.

The duo told the court that they had the right and duty to compel the 1st and 3rd Respondents to perform their statutory duty of impeachment against the 4th Respondent, as it bordered on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Citing several constitutional authorities in the written address in support of the motion ex parte and with 44-paragraph affidavits, the duo posed some questions by putting Nigeria side by side with some developed nations.

“Can the conduct of the 4th Respondent, particularly on the presentation of a forged certificate, be condoned in America or great Britain unchecked?”

Further hearing on the matter has been fixed for October 30.

COURTESY: YAHOO

Spreading Violence in Central Nigeria Risks Buhari’s Re-Election

Dulue Mbachu and Yinka Ibukun
a man wearing a hat: Nigerian Lawmakers Draw Battle Line for Buhari as Vote Looms© Bloomberg Nigerian Lawmakers Draw Battle Line for Buhari as Vote Looms(Bloomberg) — An age-old conflict over grazing land in Nigeria that’s exploded into widespread violence may be threatening President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances for re-election in February.

Buhari’s administration has been unable to calm a crisis that saw at least 200 people killed in a June 23 attack blamed on mostly Muslim ethnic Fulani herders on a mainly Christian crop-farming community in a central region known as the Middle Belt. It was the latest in a string of violent incidents this year that have claimed more than 1,000 lives and undermined public confidence in the government.

“Buhari’s lackluster response to the killings in the Middle Belt will haunt him in the next election,” Leena Koni Hoffmann, an Africa researcher at London-based Chatham House, said by email.

Buhari, 75, won the presidency on his fourth try in 2015 by building a coalition that delivered in addition to his northern base swing areas in the southwest and the Middle Belt, including some of the states worst hit by the violence such as Plateau and Benue. Carrying the central region may be more difficult this time.

‘Weak Spot’

“The Middle Belt killings certainly create a major weak spot for Buhari,” Amaka Anku, head of Eurasia Group’s Africa practice, said by email. “If he loses the Middle Belt, as is looking likely, he’ll have to win more votes in the south to win the election.”

Buhari has also drawn criticism because he is an ethnic Fulani like most of the herders, who are increasingly competing with farmers for land and water. The conflict, sharpened by climate change and the southward advance of the Sahara desert, has heightened divisions in a nation of almost 200 million people that’s evenly split between a mainly Christian south and a largely Muslim north and has at least 250 ethnic groups.

“People are even blaming me for not talking to them because maybe I look like one of them,” Buhari said in a reference to the Fulani herders last month when he met with family members of the victims in the central city of Jos in Plateau state. “There’s some injustice in these aspersions.”

Urging Prayers

During the visit, his first to any of the scenes of the recent killings, Buhari said the security forces had done all in their power to stop the raids, “but the way this situation is now, we can only pray.”

Opposition parties latched onto the statement to portray Buhari, a former military ruler who came to office pledging a crackdown on violence, as an incompetent leader who doesn’t deserve to be re-elected.

In the incident, hundreds of armed men descended on 11 villages in a seven-hour killing spree and then disappeared before the arrival of security forces, maintaining a pattern with previous killings, according to London-based Amnesty International.

The Nigerian police said its officers have detained about a dozen people for questioning and recovered five AK-47 assaults rifles believed to have been used in the attack. “Peace and normalcy has been restored in the affected areas in the state,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Military Overstretched

A key problem is that the 180,000-member army is overstretched. It has to deal with the nine-year-old Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the northeast, which has left more than 20,000 people dead, and armed militants in the southern Niger River delta who threaten Africa’s biggest oil industry. Troops are currently deployed in at least 30 of the country’s 36 states.

“There is a real concern that given the multiplicity of conflicts in Nigeria, there may be no troops left to deploy,” said Cheta Nwanze, an analyst at SBM Intelligence in Lagos, the commercial capital.

Critics of the government say the security forces aren’t neutral, a perception fueled by Buhari’s decision to keep key commands in the hands of fellow Muslim northerners. Defense Minister Mansur Dan Ali has condemned some state laws designed to curb open grazing of cattle, blaming them for the violence and appearing to take sides with Fulani herders.

Muhammadu Buhari speaks during the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in New York, on Sept. 21, 2016.

“The pervasive loss of confidence in the federal government and its security forces as neutral arbiters is also a key factor in this escalation, as it encourages communities to adopt vigilantism with catastrophic results,” Nwanze said by email.

For the main opposition People’s Democratic Party, the situation creates an opportunity as well as a challenge. But like the ruling All Progressives Congress, it’s riddled with divisions and many of Nigeria’s security challenges emerged during the 16 years it held power. Key to its chances is nominating a candidate with widespread appeal to challenge the president.

“I don’t think losing the Middle Belt will be completely fatal to his chances, but a lot depends on who the ultimate opposition candidate is,” Anku of Eurasia said. “If the PDP can come up with a credible candidate that can excite the south and be competitive in the north, we’ll have a real electoral battle.”

CNN: Amaechi’s stashed $757Million (N80Billion),to be returned to Nigeria by Bancorp Bank,Minnesota,USA–CNN,Christiane Amanpour

CULTURE

CNN: Amaechi’s stashed $757Million (N80Billion),to be returned to Nigeria by Bancorp Bank,Minnesota,USA–CNN,Christiane Amanpour New York[RR]Abuja–Emerging revelations show that, United States Bancorp Bank, based in Minnesota, has written Nigerian government, and Mr. Muhammadu Buhari on plan to return Rotimi Amaechi’s loots stashed in its proxy accounts both in USA and in the Switzerland proxy accounts, Republic […]

Amaechi

CNN: Amaechi’s stashed $757Million (N80Billion),to be returned to Nigeria by Bancorp Bank,Minnesota,USA–CNN,Christiane Amanpour

New York[RR]Abuja–Emerging revelations show that, United States Bancorp Bank, based in Minnesota, has written Nigerian government, and Mr. Muhammadu Buhari on plan to return Rotimi Amaechi’s loots stashed in its proxy accounts both in USA and in the Switzerland proxy accounts, Republic Reporters gathered.

According to CNN, and Hope for Nigeria Former Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi has written to Bancorp Bank in Minnesota in the United States that the alleged $757 million Dollars domiciled in an account in his name; was authorized by him in error; from a Rivers State Government Account with Access Bank Plc. The Nigerian most corrupt governor according to CNN letter reveals that a similar letter was also written to a bank in Switzerland; stating that a similar authorization was made in error..”, it said.

Commentators and pundits wonder why it will take CNN, Christiane Amanpour, investigations and accusations of the former governor of Rivers State; Mr. Rotimi Amaechi of stashing whopping $757 million dollars (N80 billion Naira) in Bancorp Bank in Minnesota in the United State, to know that Amaechi emptied Rivers Treasury.

Read full text:

According To Hope for Nigeria Former Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi has written to Bancorp Bank in Minnesota in the United States that the alleged $757 million Dollars domiciled in an account in his name; was authorized by him in error; from a Rivers State Government Account with Access Bank Plc. The Nigerian most corrupt governor according to CNN letter reveals that a similar letter was also written to a bank in Switzerland; stating that a similar authorization was made in error.

The letter stated that the said transfers to both banks were for the purchase of security Helicopters, payments to a foreign company to combat malaria in Rivers state by using helicopters to spray mosquito insecticides, and for the purchase of an official residence for Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, in America.

The letter further explains that, the payments for the security helicopters, and mosquito insecticides to fight malaria were made through other sources, after the funds had already been transferred abroad. He reminded the bank that the Rivers state law on his severance package, provides for an official residence for a former governor; of which he chose to have his residence in America.

Amaechi said that, this law was later amended to have his official residence built in Nigeria, after the funds had already been transferred to Bancorp/Minnesota Account. Mr. Amaechi said these changes were the reasons he communicated the consultants for purchase of security helicopters, his official residence in the U.S and the Insecticide companies not to access the funds; since they have been paid through other sources.

On receipt of the governor’s letter by the Bancorp Bank, the bank has written to the Federal Government of Nigeria to repatriate the said funds to Rivers State treasury. Investigations further revealed that President Buhari is not disposed to this request to repatriate the said funds without a trial of the former governor; to ascertain the governor’s alleged errors in these transactions.

” Why would it take Christiane Amanpour of CNN, to remind Amaechi of such errors of over N80 billion Naira public funds in two different countries, and why in his name ?” Queried the Presidency.
Recall that Christiane Amanpour accused the former governor of Rivers State; Mr. Rotimi Amaechi of stacking the sum of $757 million dollars (N80 billion Naira) in Bancorp Bank in Minnesota in the United State.

Update later..

Credit: CNN, Christiane Amanpour, Hope for Nigeria, multiple sources

Buhari Media Support Group Wants Activist Arrested For Alleged Sedition

The Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG), a strategic support platform for President Muhammadu Buhari, has called for the arrest and interrogation activist, Mr. Deji Adeyanju, Convener,  Concerned Nigerians, for alleged sedition.

The BMSG alleged that the offence was committed by Mr. Adeyanju wheb he featured on Sunrise Daily, a current affairs programme on Channels TV, on Tuesday.

The BMSG, in a statement signed by Messrs. Austin Braimoh and Cassidy Madueke, Chairman and Secretary respectively, claimed that Mr. Adeyanju said President Buhari was immediately taken to a hospital after he landed in the United Kingdom. The group said such statements are capable of inciting unrest in the country.President Muhammadu Buhari

“Deji Adeyanju is notorious for his mischief and falsehood. He does this deliberately to incite the public. He is also known for his media consultancy with the Islamic Movement of Nigeria on whose platform he has called for civil unrest across the country against the government.

“He has also taken to the social media several times to make completely false statements against the government, most times implicitly calling for anarchy,” said BMSG.

The group called on all security agencies to quickly compel Mr. Adeyanju to provide evidence in support of his numerous inciting claims. It equally stated that people like Mr Adeyanju are responsible for disharmony in the country. BMSG advised members of the public to ignore comments made by Mr Adeyanju, whom it described as an “agent provocateur” and an enemy of the nation.

Fighting corruption in Nigeria: What has Buhari achieved?

In 2015, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to eliminate corruption in the country. While experts have praised the government’s initial measures, many Nigerians feel that little progress has been made in the last three years.

Watch video03:48

COURTESY: DW

Buhari and the Birth of the Far Right In Nigeria, By Majeed Dahiru

Buhari-3

Far right leaders often leave their nations divided. Their style of leadership often leads to the hardening of extreme positions by all conflicting groups, with those feeling marginalised and unprotected resorting to self-help… Buhari’s inaction have emboldened killer herdsmen to continue their murderous activities throughout Central and Southern Nigeria.

We are very quick to denounce Marine Le Pen when she says, “Multi cultural societies are multi conflict societies” and her National Front political party is commonly criticised as being far right. Her open opposition to the unbridled diversity of the French republic often depicts her as intolerant, if not discriminatory of Africans, other peoples of colour and Muslims. Similarly, President Donald Trump of the United States often comes under fire for failing to outrightly condemn White supremacists, neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan for their hate filled racially divisive speeches, as exemplified in the recent Charlottesville demonstrations against the planned removal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the commander of the anti-slavery emancipation army in the American civil war. In a civil protest that turned bloody, when a member of the far right coalition drove a vehicle into a large crowd of protesters in support of the removal of the now controversial statue, killing a woman identified as Heather Heyer in the process. In all of these unfortunate incidences, President Trump placed the blame for the violence on “both sides”, claiming “there are good guys on the sides, as well as bad”.

In Myanmar is Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, another fast rising star of the far right. The leader of Myanmar has been criticised throughout the globe for her long silence and failure to condemn the violent ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims by her fellow Burmese Buddhists nationalists. Like, Trump, when Suu Kyi finally spoke, she attempted to place the blame on both sides, saying, “There have been allegations and counter-allegations… We have to make sure those allegations are based on solid evidence before we take action.” She also urged members of all communities in the Rakhine state of Myanmar to live in peace.

Far right politics is characterised by racial or ethnic supremacy, leading to prejudice, hate, discrimination and in extreme cases, genocide. Its leading figures are often divisive and they polarise their nation states by turning diversity into a faultline. Whenever far right figures are propelled to power, they often make more efforts to strengthen sectional interests, which inevitably leads to the marginalisation of groups and individuals other than their own. They deploy the resources of the state to satisfy their narrow bases of political support to the detriment of the unity and stability of their nations. Therefore, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari deserves a well-earned seat besides Marine Le Pen of France, Donald Trump of America and Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar on the high table of the far right.

Whereas France has the fortune of not having Marine Le Pen resident in the Elisee Palace and America’s strong democratic institutions serve as effective checks on the excesses of Donald Trump, Myanmar and Nigeria are unfortunate to be saddled with far right leaders whose excesses cannot be curtailed as a consequence of very weak institutions of state, leaving both nations with the terrible consequences of underdevelopment, instability and insecurity. Muhammadu Buhari has never hidden his sectional agenda in favour of northern Nigeria, since he assumed the mantle of leadership. From his appointments to his close cycle of associates and developmental agenda, his Arewa interests come before the interests of the Nigerian state. Typical of all far right figures, his body language, public statements and state policies often betray this sectional tendencies. Whatever doubt existed about Buhari’s northern agenda should have been put to rest with the recent revelation by the World Bank Chief about the president’s appeal for a special “focus” on northern Nigeria for developmental support.

In Aung San Su Kyi, Muhammadu Buhari has a soul mate. Her long silence on the plight of the ethnic Rohingya Muslims, whose condition have degenerated from being persecuted to being mass murdered in a state supervised ethnic cleansing agenda, by members of her own Burmese community, is similar to Buhari’s long silence on the murderous activities of killer herdsmen among his own ethnic Fulani.

If Marie Le Pen is against a racially diverse France, Muhammadu Buhari does not pretend to be a good manager of Nigeria’s ethnic diversity. His insensitivity to the feelings of marginalisation by other groups in Nigeria clearly illustrates this. The recent revelation by Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for petroleum about his redundancy in the affairs of oil resources management in the country clearly shows that Buhari’s cabinet is in negation of the spirit of the 1999 Constitution, which provides for at least a minister from each of the thirty six federating units of the country. By appointing a fellow Northerner, Maikanti Baru as the GMD of Nigeria’s state owned oil company, NNPC, who reports directly to him in his capacity as petroleum minister, Buhari has not only rendered Ibe Kackikwu redundant and irrelevant in the affairs of the petroleum ministry, he has also left the Southern oil producing state of Delta without a minister in the proper sense. In this instance, the president fails to appreciate the necessity of carrying along every section of the country in his government, in line with the wisdom behind the spirit of the constitution.

Muhammadu Buhari also has something in common with Donald Trump. For the first time since the administration of George Bush (snr.), when General Collin Powell was appointed as the first African American to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces, the White House is truly “White”, as there is no African American – from who Donald Trump got the least support – occupying any of the top jobs in the Trump administration. From the kitchen cabinet to the State Department and Pentagon, all the top positions are occupied by White Americans, from among who Donald Trump got the most votes to become president. Similarly, relying on his “97 percent and 5 percent” of support as a basis for his appointments, President Buhari has appointed a disproportionate number of Northerners into his government, to the dismay of most Nigerians.

In Aung San Su Kyi, Muhammadu Buhari has a soul mate. Her long silence on the plight of the ethnic Rohingya Muslims, whose condition have degenerated from being persecuted to being mass murdered in a state supervised ethnic cleansing agenda, by members of her own Burmese community, is similar to Buhari’s long silence on the murderous activities of killer herdsmen among his own ethnic Fulani. These are migratory bands pillaging farmlands and killing members of farming communities in central and southern Nigeria. When eventually pressured to speak, like Aung San Suu Kyi, Muhammadu Buhari blamed both sides.

Whereas the full might of the state was deployed to crush the separatist agitations of Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB before they were even declared a terror group, no decisive military operation has been launched against the marauding killer herdsmen… The feeling of apartness from the Nigerian state by ethnic Fulani herdsmen, in solidarity with their armed kith and kin from all over the Sahel, is no less treasonable.

The same way Aung San Suu Kyi refuses to acknowledge the murderous activities of her fellow Burmese Buddhist nationalists as genocide, Muhammadu Buhari also fails to address the murderous activities of killer herdsmen as terrorism against the Nigerian state. On each unfortunate occasion of mass killings by killer herdsmen, such as happened recently on the Plateau, the government’s reaction, such as this, “Buhari is devoted to the sanctity of Nigeria’s unity, and he encourages Nigerians of all groups to learn to live together in peace and harmony”, reduces a clear case of terrorism by one group against another to a matter of farmer-herdsmen clashes. And while the security forces in Myanmar appears powerless, if not complicit by failing to prevent the murderous mob of Burmese Buddhist from unleashing terror against ethnic Rohingya Muslims, Nigeria’s northern dominated internal and defence security apparatus appears similarly powerless in the face of the killer herdsmen terror. Whereas the full might of the state was deployed to crush the separatist agitations of Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB before they were even declared a terror group, no decisive military operation has been launched against the marauding killer herdsmen. The murderous activities of the marauding herdsmen, is a form of secession by elimination. The feeling of apartness from the Nigerian state by ethnic Fulani herdsmen, in solidarity with their armed kith and kin from all over the Sahel, is no less treasonable.

Far right leaders often leave their nations divided. Their style of leadership often leads to the hardening of extreme positions by all conflicting groups, with those feeling marginalised and unprotected resorting to self-help. Just as Trump’s silence has emboldened far right groups in the United States, Buhari’s inaction have emboldened killer herdsmen to continue their murderous activities throughout Central and Southern Nigeria.

Majeed Dahiru, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja and can be reached through dahirumajeed@gmail.com

Courtesy: Premium Times

Nigeria’s Buhari speaks out on Biafra

Following tensions gripping the country between Biafra agitators and security forces, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that his adminstration will not bow down to demands of separatism.

Nigeria Abuja - Muhammadu Buhari nach Rückkehr aus England (Reuters/Nigeria Presidency Handout)

In a stark warning, Buhari said that the country will remain united despite incessant demands from some parts of Nigeria that want independence. “Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood. Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance,” Buhari said.

Buhari also did not mince words about the videos that have been circulating on different social media platforms. “I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.”

In the meantime, the whereabouts of Biafran leader Nnamdi Kanu remain unknown amid renewed protests and a military operation in southeast Nigeria. State governors have urged calm.

Nigerian governors on Friday called for calm after renewed protests by pro-Biafra supporters calling for independence. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group led by Nnamdi Kanu wants to break away from Nigeria and create a separate state for the predominantly Igbo people in southeastern Nigeria.

Windscreens of police vehicles have been smashed, petrol bombs thrown, bonfires lit on streets to restrict movement and warning shots fired, in the latest violence. Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau State in central Nigeria, convened a meeting of leaders from the Hausa and Igbo communities following violence at two markets. Two people were reportedly killed and calm was only restored after police fired warning shots in the air.

Watch video05:12

Biafran people still long for independence

The violence has also claimed the lives of two police officers. More than 30 Biafra supporters have been arrested, the Daily Post, a local online daily reported. Shops belonging to ethnic Hausas have been attacked by pro-Biafra agitators in Aba and Port Harcourt, according to local media.

Read more: Is Nigeria’s one nation policy at stake?

Read more: Biafra: Dreaming of a new state

“There are very conflicting reports of violence on both sides,” Isa Sanusi, spokesperson for Amnesty International in Nigeria, told DW in an interview. “There are reports of violence on the side of the military and there are reports of violence on the side of supporters of the Biafra movement.”

Where is Nnamdi Kanu?

Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts are unknown following an invasion of his home by the military, two local newspapers, the Premium Times and Naija News reported. Ifeanyi Ijeafor, a lawyer representing Nnamdi Kanu told DW, the army had gone to his client’s home with the intention of assassinating him.

Nigeria's Biafra leader | Nnamdi Kanu (DW/K. Gänsler)Nnamdi Kanu’s call for Biafra’s independence has become a hot political issue in Nigeria

“I got a distress call from my client that his house was invaded by the military, the soldiers,” Ijeafor said. “I believe they went there for reasons best known to them – that reason is nothing more than to go and assassinate him.” He accused the security officers of plotting to suppress Kanu and consequently arresting him.

Nigeria’s military referred to the allegations that they had invaded Kanu’s homestead as “baseless and mischievous.” Kanu, a British and Nigerian citizen, is presently on bail on treasonable felony charges. His trial is set to resume next month in Abuja.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (picture alliance/AP Photo/S. Aghaeze)President Muhammadu Buhari: ‘Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable’

Calls for an independent Biafra have grown ever since Nnamdi Kanu was released on bail. During an exclusive one on one with DW’s Adrian Kriesch, Kanu reiterated his demand for a referendum on the independence of Biafra. President Muhammadu Buhari has strongly rejected any attempts to divide Nigeria saying the unity of the country was “not negotiable.”

Read more: After long absence due to ill health, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari slams divisions, terror

Read more: Nigeria and the Biafran War: Ending the silence

More than one million Igbos died following the unilateral declaration of an independent republic of Biafra in 1967.

Nigeria’s military urged to be cautious

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State attributed the rising tension to the presence of soldiers. The Nigerian army is carrying out a military operation codenamed “Python Dance II” to tackle what it says is rising crime in the region.

However, video footage and pictures showing some military officers allegedly torturing pro-Biafra supporters have triggered anger, particularly on social media. The Nigerian army has promised to investigate the matter and punish those found guilty.

Nigeria Soldaten (AFP/Getty Images)Nigeria’s army has previously denied accusations of human rights violations

“As always we call on Nigeria’s military, while carrying out their constitutional obligations, to respect the human rights of all Nigerians,” Amnesty International spokesperson in Nigeria, Isa Sanusi said.

“They have their own rules of engagement and their own code of conduct; we are always calling on them to respect this code of conduct while they are out in the field.” For Sanusi, no one should end up as a victim of human rights violations as a result of their [military] activities.

Read more:  Amnesty accuses Nigerian army of killing 150 Biafran protestors

In 2016, at least 150 Biafra supporters were killed at peaceful protests according to Amnesty International.  Those figures were however dismissed by the military and police.

cm (AFP/Reuters)

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