A socio-political group, Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, has asked the Federal Government to make open the trial of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
In an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, Secretary of the group, Charles Nwekeaku, said the secret trial of the IPOB leader would worsen the violence and killings in the South East.
Nwekeaku also berated security agencies for barring former Governor of Anambra State, Chuwuemeka Ezeife and other Igbo leaders from witnessing Kanu’s trial last week.
He said, “The trial should be open to the public, at least, the stakeholders including journalists, lawyers, and Igbo elders. The decision of the Federal Government to restrict journalists, lawyers, respectable traditional rulers and the Igbo delegation to the trial of Nnamdi Kalu will aggravate the already charged tension and insecurity in the South-East zone, thus endangering whatever peace process mechanism that is being empanelled by various stakeholders now.
“The Igbo Elders Forum is delighted that Nnamdi Kalu was present at the October 21, 2021 Court sitting, thus confirming that he is alive, contrary to the hitherto speculations that all might not be well with him.
“However, to barricade the whole court premises and prevent the Igbo delegation, led by His Excellency, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State, and other stakeholders from entering the Court sitting gives the impression that the whole process may lack transparency, fairness, justice and equity.
“We are yet to come to terms that respectable Igbo Elders that came to the Court to witness the trial of Nnamdi Kalu were humiliated and kept under the sun for some hours by some overzealous security agents. When we protested against the ill-treatment melted against our elders, we were told that the ‘’directive came from the above.’”
Nwekeaku noted that the sit-at-home order observed in the South East will give room for the manipulation and rigging of the November 6 Anambra election.
He, however, asked IPOB to mobilize Anambra people to come out and vote for the candidates of their choice as the next governor.
He said, “The sit-at-home order if observed, will hurt the Igbos generally and Anambra State specifically, as it will give the enemies of the people the opportunity to ‘cook’ election results and impose any person on our people as a governor.
“Rather than stay at home, IPOB should mobilize our people to vote out enemies of the people, whose stock in trade is just to carry out the evil agenda of their paid masters.“