Consequent upon the statement credited to the Northern Elders led by Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie in the Punch Newspaper of 26 August, 2015, the Supreme Council
of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), under the chairmanship of His Royal Majesty, The Hon Justice Eze Ozobu, OFR, has, in a swift response thrashed their Northern counterparts.
This was contained in a statement titled “Biafra V Nigeria: Northern Elders Should Speak With Circumspection On Biafra”, signed by His Royal Majesty, Eze Iheanyi Nwokenna OFG, JP Public Relations Officer Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra.
Therein, the Biafrans alleged “that this statement is prejudicial to the case pending in the Federal High Court Owerri which is the only AUTHORITY vested with judicial power to determine whether the issues between Biafra and Nigeria had been settled or not”.
Hon Justice Ozobu therefore enjoined the Northern Elders, who he accused of living in denial, to wake up to reality and shut up their mouths over the issue of Biafra, with due respect, and let the Court decide.
Attached below are the details of the statement:
BIAFRA V NIGERIA: NORTHERN ELDERS SHOULD SPEAK WITH CIRCUMSPECTION ON BIAFRA
A response by the Supreme Council Of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB): Our attention has been drawn to a contemptuous and provocative statement credited to Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in the Punch Newspaper of 26 August 2015 and other media platforms where the Northern Elders violated the rule of Subjudice against the on-going Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013 between Biafra and Nigeria by saying that the issue of Biafra was settled in 1970.
We have been advised by our lawyers that this statement is prejudicial to the case pending in the Federal High Court Owerri which is the only AUTHORITY vested with judicial power to determine whether the issues between Biafra and Nigeria had been settled or not.
The Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra hereby responds to the Northern Elders and state that we reserve the right to bring contempt proceedings against Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie who is very much aware that the case between Biafra and Nigeria is in the Federal High Court Owerri and that the next hearing is on 22 September 2015 as published by various Newspapers in Nigeria.
Mr Coomasie and the Northern Elders stated that “the agitators for the unholy division are in their safe abode outside Nigeria and the most painful aspect of the agitation by the young Ndigbo elements is the silence from the elders who experienced the bitter pill of the secession attempt, the 30-month Civil War and who knew the consequences of such a futile agitation”.
It appears that Mr Coomasie and the Northern Elders are living in denial.
They know that the remnants of the Biafrans are still alive but choose to deny the fact.
They know that the Elders of Biafraland are in support of the Biafra Independence Movement but they feign ignorance.
They have read many publications in the Nigerian Newspapers by Dr Dozie Ikedife OON, JP, on behalf of the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra and perhaps thought that the Biafran Elders were joking.
They knew when the Biafran Representatives, Bilie Human Rights Initiative, were invited to the United Nations and the African Union but chose to deny the fact.
Nigerians indeed live in denial.
We confirm again that the present Biafra Independence Movement BY THE RULE OF LAW is under the control and supervision of the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) headed by His Royal Majesty & His Lordship, The Honourable Justice Eze Ozobu (rtd) OFR, the Founding Father and Past President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo as Chairman; Dr Dozie Ikedife OON, JP, the Leader of the South East Elders Forum, Past President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, as Deputy Chairman; Brig. Gen. Joe Achuzia (rtd), Past Secretary-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, as Secretary.
We the Elders of Biafraland being the custodians of all Indigenous People of Biafra under Customary Law cannot condemn the Biafran Independence Movement for which we are in Court with Nigeria.
We only condemn all acts of lawlessness perpetrated by some misguided and disobedient youths in the name of Biafra and dissociate ourselves from all forms of lawlessness, incitement to violence, abuses and insults to persons and constituted authorities.
In all our publications we have always stated that we have nothing to do with any person or group of persons agitating for Biafra Independence in an unlawful manner.
We have argued in Court that we are Biafrans by indigenous identity even though we are Nigerians by citizenship which was forced upon us against our will.
We are treated like modern slaves and second-class citizens in Nigeria.
Just as the people of Scotland are Scots by indigenous identity but British by citizenship and are now seeking for independence from Britain by due process of law, so are we in Nigeria.
We believe in the Rule of Law and have dragged Nigeria to Court to exercise our right to self-determination in order to be free from Nigeria as guaranteed by law.
If we do not obtain justice in Nigeria, we have the option to appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
We must continue the Struggle until Biafra becomes free from slavery in Nigeria.
We would like to emphasise the personal testimony of Mr Coomasie who stated as follows: “Only just over a week ago, an elder statesman from the South-East celebrated his birthday in Abuja with the launching of his two books.
A good number of leaders from the South-East attended the event and as the activities progressed, it was nothing but Biafra with inciting and provocative speeches by one speaker after another.”
Alhaji Coomasie has said it himself as an eye-witness that the South East Elders speak nothing but Biafra.
From his testimony, it is clear that all the Elders of Biafraland are in support of the Biafran Independence Movement provided it is done lawfully.
The Leader of the Biafrans in the present Struggle for Independence by the RULE OF LAW is in the person of HRM, the Honourable Justice Eze Ozobu OFR, Royal Father and retired Chief Judge, the Founding Father of Ohaneze Ndigbo.
All the South East Elders have lined up behind him in the Biafran Struggle for Independence.
We therefore warn the Northern Elders to shut up their mouths over the issue of Biafra, with due respect, and let the Court decide.
We however maintain our position that in due course we may issue contempt proceedings against Alhaji Coomasie for the contemptuous utterances he has already made on the case that is pending in Court.
THIS STATEMENT IS ISSUED THIS 28TH DAY OF AUGUST 2015 BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA UNDER CUSTOMARY LAW
His Royal Majesty, Eze Iheanyi Nwokenna OFG, JP
Public Relations Officer, Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra
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