Following calls by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for boycott of elections in Anambra State, a group of lawyers in the state have petitioned the United Nations, United States, Nigeria Police, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), among others.
The lawyers, under the aegis of Anambra State Lawyers in Defence of Democracy (ASLAD), urged the AGF to ensure the commencement of a “high-powered clinical investigation” on the Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB.
They condemned comments by Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB concerning the election and urged the AGF to use instrument and powers of the Nigerian State under his office to deal with IPOB.
Their petition reads: “The IPOB have taken a position that they would ‘boycott’ the forthcoming Anambra 2017 elections. We do not have any problem with them on this position.
“However, our challenge with IPOB is their seeming inability to appreciate the meaning of the word ‘boycott’ as it relates to Anambra election.
“We are worried that their mode of propagating their ‘No referendum, no election’ mantra suggests that the word ‘boycott’ has another meaning assigned to it in their own dictionary which is ‘disruption’ of all legitimate activities of government and electioneering activities calculated at striking terror in the minds of the citizens who have made up their mind to discharge their civic duty on the 18th day of November, 2017.
“Sir, the Nnamdi Kanu led IPOB are always quick to raise the green banner of ‘non-violence’ and take refuge under its canopied ambience whereas their official dissemination channel, Radio Biafra, is a flowing river of hate-speeches, incitement to violence and war.
“Hate speech leads to war and war leads to deaths and, therefore, IPOB preaches violence. In the South-East (especially in Onitsha which is our commercial nerve centre), the IPOB miscreants extort money from traders after intimidating them.
“IPOB hoodlums illegally mount roadblocks to force other citizens to buy their Biafra flags and insignia not minding whether such citizens subscribe to their separatist ideology or whether such citizens have the money to pay for the said flags. They harass citizens and threaten them with violence.”
The lawyers said that IPOB members intimidate and close shops of marketers in Onitsha and that “IPOB street urchins have on two remarkable occasions disrupted campaigns rallies and have most infamously invaded and desecrated St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State where the Governor was to worship [with their chants of no referendum, no election]. Indeed, they have a rich history of mischief.”
The group’s petition was copied to the United Nations Mission in Nigeria, Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, The European Union Mission to Nigeria, National Human Rights Commission, The Inspector-General of Police, The Defence Headquarters.
Others copied are The Director-General, Department of State Services, The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, The Federal House of Representatives, South-East Governors’ Forum and Anambra Council of Traditional Rulers.