World Igbo Congress (WIC), South Africa on 31st August, 2021 held a protest in Pretoria, the country’s capital city over the “abduction and illegal extradition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) by Nigerian authorities.
Recall that the protest organized by the World Igbo Congress (WIC) took place simultaneously across major cities globally.
At the United Nations, South Africa home office, His Excellency Isaac Letwabe, Chief of Security Protocols received the Communique on behalf of the UN Chief Representative in Pretoria SA.
While the British Under-Secretary Ms Clair Mitchell received the Communique on behalf of the British High Commissioner in Pretoria SA.
Also Colonel Mboweni of the South African Police Service (SAPS) received on behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Africa.
The recipients promised to deliver the messages to the appropriate authorities in their respective Countries and organizations.
Speaking during the handover of the Communique, at the UK High Commission, Onowu Igbo South Africa, Chief Jonas Ndubueze Udeji admonished the UK for their gang-up with the Nigerian government against Ndigbo and pointed the consequences of their actions if they do not retract their steps.
Also speaking at the UN Offices in Pretoria, Barrister Jeff Azubuike who is the Coordinator, World Igbo Congress SA, informed the UN to facilitate and midwife a peaceful Referendum in Eastern Nigeria to enable the people of the Region attain peaceful self-determination.
The communique which was signed by Barr Jeff Azubuike and Engineer Chidi Mbachu, Coordinator and Protem Secretary respectively of World Igbo Congress, South Africa read as follows:
” MEMORANDUM ON THE ABDUCTION AND ILLEGAL EXTRADITION OF MAZI NNAMDI KANU
The attention of WORLD IGBO CONGRESS South Africa has been drawn to the arrest and re-arraignment of the leader of Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigerian government.
We are aware that there was no formal extradition order or request made by the Nigerian State before any court of law in his host country, the United Kingdom or any other country hence his unlawful abduction and subsequent rendition may not scale the muster of International Law standards.
Be that as it may, we want to remind the Federal Government of Nigeria that Mazi Kanu carries with him a symbol of Igbo freedom and emancipation; therefore he cannot be treated like a common criminal by his abductors.
Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 affords every accused person the benefit of presumption of innocence until proven guilty hence WORLD IGBO CONGRESS South Africa will not accept anything less in the treatment of Kanu’s case.
Ndigbo both at home and in diaspora are well aware that Nnamdi Kanu was taken into custody by the Nigerian security forces in a very excellent state of health and will not accept any treatment that might compromise his current healthy condition.
We want to state categorically that his alleged abscondment and jumping of bail was due to the illegal operations of the Nigerian Army who invaded his residence of Afara-Ukwu Umuahia, Abia state targeting him for elimination while his case was sub judice.
The fact that the top echelon of the Nigerian government is seen openly romanticizing with globally acclaimed terrorists and bandits such as Miyetti Allah, killer herdsmen, Boko Haram and ISIS, while criminalizing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as a subversive leader of “terrorist organization” is not only a travesty but clearly shows that he is a “Political Prisoner” who may never get justice in the Nigerian Judicial system.
WORLD IGBO CONGRESS South Africa do not condone nor subscribe to the use of violence in settling issues of self determination neither does it support any attacks on civil, military or police formations such that was provoked recently in South Eastern Nigeria.
We therefore call on the International Community, including the US, UN, EU, UK, Germany, Canada, the African Union, ECOWAS, lovers of the rule of law and freedom of expression and other acclaimed world bodies to put pressure on the Nigerian State to afford Mazi Nnamdi Kanu a fair hearing without unnecessary encumbrances and harassment of his legal team.
The Nigerian Government and their security forces must play by the rules and adapt to internationally acceptable legal standards in handling Kanu’s matter.
Anything less will stoke negative reactions and uproar from the millions of indigenous Igbo people whom Kanu epitomizes.
Let the judiciary exhibit the independence which the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria bestowed on it. This is a litmus test and the whole world is watching.
May we remind the Nigerian Judiciary that the purpose of legal prosecution is neither to persecute nor to convict at all costs rather to mitigate on the basis of equity, justice and fairness.
The current siege in the predominantly Christian South which has resulted in wanton killing and raping of our sisters and mothers must stop forthwith.
We therefore completely reject the forceful Islamization of Christians by the present Maj-Gen Mohammadu Buhari’s government.
We want a United Nation’s/UK supervised referendum for self determination.”