Quit Notice: Rights Group considers genocide threat for ICC
By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU – A Human Rights group, Streetlaw Africa Incorporated, has threatened to drag the federal government, its officials and leaders of Arewa youths to the International Criminal Court, ICC, at Hague, Holland, if the federal High court in Abuja fail to attend to two suits it filed against the government and persons on the threat of genocide to Ndigbo residing in parts of northern Nigeria.
The group said it has perceived attempts by the Nigerian courts to evade prosecutions of the respondents, noting that the treat is real and orchestrated plot to repeat the genocide the northerners executed on the people of Eastern Nigeria from 1966 to 1970 when the civil war ended.
It went further to recount that even after the civil war ended in Nigeria, the northerners continued genocides on Easterners in different dimensions such as in the 2011 general election when Igbos were massacred for no just cause.
It therefore noted that it would be even more suicidal for the Igbo race to keep quiet until they are slaughtered in droves again in Nigeria.
In a world press statement in Enugu, yesterday, the Director of Streetlaw Africa Incorporated, Mr. Egechukwu Obetta, recalled that he had on July 11 2017filed three suits at the Abuja Federal High Court, FHC, and ECOWAS Court, respectively, on behalf of all Indigenes of the South East Zone of Nigeria resident in the Northern parts of Nigeria.
The three suits, according to Obetta sought for a Motion for an Order of Mandamus of the FHC, compelling the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to arrest and prosecute within 7 days, all such Persons led by one AlhajiYerima Shettima under the aegis of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, who on June 6 2017, issued a treasonable notice to Ndigbo in the North, to vacate the region before the October 12017.
The suit also seeks for a Fundamental Rights Enforcement against Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the IGP and the Federal Government of Nigeria, to enforce the Fundamental Rights of Ndigbo in the North, to move freely throughout Nigeria, and to reside in any part thereof, as guaranteed them under Section 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Obetta disclosed that the same Fundamental Rights Enforcement Suit was filed at the ECOWAS court.
The Human Rights lawyer said: “I hereby put the above Respondents on Notice that if it pleases the honourable Court to grant the above Mandamus Order as prayed, and the IGP fails and neglects to comply with such Order of Mandamus of the FHC within the timeline thereon specified, I would have no other choice than to proceed to the International Criminal Court, ICC, in the Hague, Holland, to press Criminal Charges against them, of aiding and abetting a second Genocide against the Ndigbo in the North, the first Genocide having taken place in 1966 with no one held to account in that regard, till date.
“My Criminal Suit for such second Genocide against Ndigbo in the North, will be filed against Alhaji YerimaShettima; The IGP; The Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, as the Chief Law Officer of Nigeria; Prof Ango Abdullahi and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as the Acting President of Nigeria when the June 6 2017 threat of a second Genocide against Ndigbo in the North, was issued.
“The IGP, AGF and Prof Yem iOsinbajo would be charged before the ICC as above stated, for looking the other way, and deliberately failing/neglecting to arrest and prosecute Prof Ango Abdullahi, Alh. Yerima Shettima and his group since the June 6 2017 when this despicable threat was issued against Ndigbo in the North; and thereby aiding, abetting, condoning and encouraging a second genocide against Ndigbo in the North.”
Obetta said that should it become necessary to proceed to the ICC due to a refusal by the IGP to promptly comply with the Order of Mandamus, nothing will stop his group from revisiting and pressing Charges at the said ICC, against all the Ringleaders of the 1966 Genocide against Ndigbo in the North.
He said: “It has just been announced with cynical fanfare, that the above AYCF has ‘suspended’ its ‘Quit Notice’ against Ndigbo in the North. I hereby wish to make it categorically clear that this so-called suspension of the Quit Notice cannot in law, extinguish the grave offence committed by Alhaji Yerima and his Group against Ndigbo in the North, on June 6 2017. Alh. Yerima must be arrested and prosecuted alongside other Ring-Leaders of the AYCF, for their treasonable threat against Ndigbo, to quit the North before October 1 2017. Nothing short of such Arrest and Prosecution will suffice to settle the 3 Suits, as filed.
“It is no longer News that the cynical silence and manifest bias of the FGN and its Agencies since the June 6 2017 when the Treasonable Threat against Ndigbo was issued, has encouraged and opened a floodgate of ‘Hate Speeches and Songs’ currently awash on the Internet.
“Ndigbo in the North and indeed all over Nigeria, have been the butt/victims of cynicism, oppression, repression and Extreme Marginalization since the end of the Civil War on January 151970. Ndigbo in the North have ever since, been serially and severally attacked and massacred at the slightest pretext, by Northern Elements such as the Alh. Shettima’s AYCF.
“Irrespective of all above atrocities daily committed against Ndigbo in Nigeria, the latter have remained calm and focused on their businesses and enterprises, which have contributed in no small measure to the economic and social development of Nigeria; all what they get in return is daily oppression, repression, extreme marginalization and sometimes outright massacre in the hands of misguided elements in the North.
“Worse still, the FGN which Constitutional Duty it is to safeguard the lives and property of Ndigbo throughout the Federation, has consistently looked the other way in the face of all above atrocities, thereby aiding, abetting, condoning and encouraging same.
“The 1966 Massacre of Igbos in the North, was not only condoned, but was celebrated by the eminent Northerners who indeed gloated openly, over the gruesome event.
“The 1966 Genocide against Igbos in the North, has since the end of Civil War, been swept under the carpet to the extent that it has been banned by the FGN, from being mentioned in history lessons in all Nigerian Schools. Furthermore, it is not even allowed to be mentioned in public and any such mention otherwise, is regarded by the Nigerian State, as Treason.
“Since 2015 when the incumbent FGN came to power, the cries and agitations of Ndigbo against above repression and marginalization have been equated to treason against the State, to the extent that unarmed and defenseless civilians have been severally shot at and killed by Soldiers of the Nigerian Army especially at Onitsha, Anambra State.
“A recent Report issued by Amnesty International says that not less than 150 such unarmed and defenseless civilians have been shot at and killed by Soldiers of the Nigerian Army especially at Onitsha, since 2015.
“It is extremely distressing that coming out of all the recent discourse across the Federation, (which Discourse has been ignited by the ongoing Agitations by Ndigbo), Prof YemiOsinbajo and all other eminent/elder Statesmen have obscenely remarked that in as much as Alh.Yerima Shettima’s quit notice to Ndigbo in the North is condemnable, the ongoing agitations by the same Ndigbo should stop forthwith.
“That is, they mean that the treason committed by Alh.Yerima Shettima on June 6 2017, is a befitting response to the agitations of Ndigbo, which agitations have since the end of the Civil War, been equated to treason in any event.
“This absurd, nonsensical, illogical, extremely insensitive and immoral position held as above by our elder statesmen, is akin to positing that a child who is being pummeled and brutalized by his older sibling, can only be rescued from his assailant when he stops crying. That is, for as long as the pummeled child continues to cry, the pummeling is justified and must continue!
“A Threat bordering on a flagrant violation of the Fundamental Rights of Ndigbo in the North, and a Notice to the latter, of a second Genocide against them should they fail to comply with such Threat, is regarded under the law as such Fundamental Right already violated, and the Genocide executed!
“Under the hallowed principle of ‘ubi jus ubiremedium’ it is hard to see how the agitations of an oppressed and marginalized people have violated the rights of any other Nigerian in any manner whatsoever. On the other hand, the above threat by Alh.Yerima Shettima and his group clearly violates the Fundamental Rights of Ndigbo in the North.
“Notwithstanding, the FGN has as above, perversely and consistently held that such agitations constitute an act of treason against the State, and therefore deserve to be met with threats of Genocide and Expulsion from the North, by Alh. Shettima and his ilk.”
Obetta congratulated the United Nations who issued a statement in Geneva last Friday calling on the FGN to immediately arrest members of the Arewa youth group.
He also called on all men of good conscience all over the World, including US President, UK Prime Minister and President of China Republic to turn their much eagerly awaited attention to the deplorable plight of Ndigbo in Nigeria, and bring their influence to bear, to save Ndigbo from imminent annihilation from the surface of the earth. “We must not allow ugly history to repeat itself in this generation,” he stated.
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