A legal practitioner, Mr. Isiah Ayugu, has filed a suit the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking the investigation and prosecution of certain individuals including a former minister of aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, and Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe for allegedly aiding the escape of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, from Nigeria.
Ayugu who filed the suit Wednesday described himself as a taxpaying responsible Nigerian and lawyer.
He said in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1254/18 that due to Kanu’s escape from Nigeria, the IPOB leader’s trial on charges of treasonable felony had remained stalled before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
He said as a Nigerian, his image had been damaged “by the character assassination, lies, falsehood, evil propaganda made against the Nigerian Army that the Nigerian Army has abducted, arrested, kidnapped, assassinated and killed Nnamdi Kanu.”
He held Fani-Kayode and others as those responsible for the spreading of the alleged propaganda and the eventual escape of the IPOB leader from Nigeria.
Apart from Fani-Kayode, Abaribe, others being sought to be prosecuted include Messrs Tochukwu Uchendu and Emmanuel Shallom Ben who stood sureties for the bail granted Kanu by the Federal High Court in Abuja in April 2018.
They also include Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, and the IPOB leader’s relatives, Messrs Emmanuel Kanu and Uchechi Kanu.
The rest, according to the plaintiff, are “all those who worked together to propagate and spread the inciting lies and falsehood that Nnamdi Kanu had been abducted, arrested, kidnapped, detained, killed and assassinated by the Nigerian Army when indeed they were well aware of Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts because they played roles in helping Nnamdi Kanu to disappear from Nigeria.”
The plaintiff joined as defendants in the suit, the director general of the Department of State Services (DSS), the DSS itself, the inspector general of police and the Nigeria Police Force.
The plaintiff stated in the suit that the four defendants had the “statutory duty to investigate, identify and prosecute all persons suspected of being involved in spreading inciting and false news against the Nigerian military as well as aid Nnamdi Kanu to evade justice.”
The plaintiff had instituted the suit following a viral video clip which recently emerged on the Internet showing Kanu to be praying in Jerusalem, Israel, and a press conference which the IPOB leader addressed live online.
The federal government was prosecuting Kanu and others on charges of treasonable felony at the Federal High Court in Abuja before he became missing since September 14, 2017, following a military invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu in Umuahia, Abia State.
However, the plaintiff, in his affidavit filed in support of the suit, said Fani-Kayode and others were aware that Kanu had fled the country but allegedly continued to spread the falsehood that he was either abducted or killed by the military.
Ayugu’s supporting affidavit read in part, “That so much pressure was asserted on the Federal Government of Nigeria and its agencies by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Femi Fani-Kayode, Tochukwu Uchendu, Emmanuel Shallom Ben, Emmanuel Kanu, Uchechi Kanu, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, leaders of Afaraukwu-Ibeku Community in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, the different civil liberty organisations and media practitioners who worked together to propagate and spread inciting lies and falsehood that Nnamdi Kanu was arrested, kidnapped, detained, assassinated and killed by the Nigerian military and, therefore, demanded the release of Nnamdi Kanu dead or alive.”
With Punch report