Two citizens of the Federal Republic, Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu are being accused by the Federal Government of terrorist activities with support from foreign sources. Igboho, an agitator for self-determination for his Yoruba ethnic group, is alleged to receive more than N127 million toward his activities from, according to Attorney General and Minster of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN), ‘‘a federal lawmaker in the National Assembly’’ and of financial dealings with a person linked and convicted in Saudi Arabia of funding terrorism.
Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the group he leads, are accused of offences against the state and people of Nigeria. The findings of the 24-person Presidential Ad-hoc Committee that investigated the activities of the IPOB has, according to Malami, cited a litany of offences against the agitator for self-determination for his Igbo people. Malami said recently that Nnamdi Kanu ‘ has accomplices in Nigeria and abroad….state and non-state actors who are aiding and facilitating his campaign…; that he used ‘online Radio Biafra to instigate violence and incite members of IPOB to commit violent attacks against civil and democratic institutions…’;
That he ‘seized’ the EndSARS protest to further his goal, that on Kanu’s ‘instigative directives’ ‘members of IPOB/ESN carried out massive attacks on democratic institutions…with a view to hampering democratic process in Nigeria.’ Not done, the Committee ascribed the killing of 175 security personnel, traditional rulers and most recently Dr. Chike Akunyuli and others to Kanu and his group.
The point must be quickly made that the compilers of these offences are all employees in the ministries and agencies of the Federal Government that accuses Kanu and will prosecute, judge and punish him. There is no neutral and independent opinion within the ad-hoc committee. None!
Having said this, since the case is in court, it would be reasonable to expect that Mr. Malami should forward these findings to the prosecutor to build his case against such enfant terrible and his group. The federal chief law officer and senior advocate of Nigeria chose to go to the court of public opinion, or put differently, resort to media trial, seemingly in order to bias the mind of the public against the accused. But it is the court, not the public that, on the facts before it, will determine the case.