Court of Economic Community of West African States has just struck out a request by the Nigeria government asking the court to hands-off from entertaining the lawsuit filed by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu over the gross abuses of his human rights by the Nigeria government.
The proceedings at the Ecowas Court sitting in Abuja commenced shortly after the arrival of Ecowas Court judges (Hon Justice Chijioke Nwokoye, Justice Micah Wilkins Wright, Justice Yaya Bairo and Justice Allone Sall) at exactly 10am this morning of March 7, 2017, alongside the two legal counsels, Hon Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor(Prosecuting Counsel) and Hon. Barrister S.I Labaran(Defense Counsel).
Following the introduction of the two counsels, Hon Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor representing IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu told the court that his client has been incarcerated for over 16 months despite several court injunctions by Nigerian courts granting him unconditional release. He told the court to uphold the suit filed by his client by granting him bail and imposing the necessary sanctions on the Nigeria government over the gross human rights abuses of his client and his followers as contained in the suit.
However, Counsel to the Nigeria government, S.I Labaran objected and told the court that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain such case, as the case is still being presided over by a Nigerian court. He also told the court that IPOB is not an ECOWAS body and therefore the case should be struck out.
Reacting swiftly to the tensed argument between the Counsels, the Ecowas court judge, Justice Chijioke Nwokoye rebuffed the objection of the respondent for lack of merit. The judge explained that both Nnamdi Kanu and the Nigeria government are members of ECOWAS, therefore the court has every jurisdiction to entertain any case brought before it by both parties.
The presiding judge however adjourned its ruling on the lawsuit filed by Nnamdi Kanu to April 27, 2017.