Wed. Aug 10th, 2022
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Malami must produce Nnamdi Kanu in Court, or……

Foremost pro-democracy and leading civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has told the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami to produce the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Court for trial on October 21st 2021 if he (Abubakar Malami) has no subterranean motive to instigate the economic collapse of South East of Nigeria should the self determination group implement her threat to call for a full month of sit-at-home order. 

HURIWA is therefore pleading with the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to send a very clear message to his followers not to carry on with the threat to call for a One Month sit-at-home order because it is very likely that the Federal Government with a preponderance of officials from the Moslem North who have manifested open distrust and hatred for Igboland and Igbo people may instigate the Department of State Services headed by the same Muslim North not to produce the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before the Federal High Court Abuja on the next adjourned date so as to precipitate the destruction of the Economic life of the South East of Nigeria. 

HURIWA recalled that previously at the proposed arraignment and commencement of the trial of pro-Biafran independence leader Nnamdi Kanu, which was due to resume few weeks back in Abuja before the Federal High Court of Nigeria, was been adjourned to 21 October. 

The Rights group recalled that the incarcerated leader of the Independence Movement for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (Ipob), who has been advocating for the secession of southeastern Nigeria, was arrested abroad after four years on the run and brought back to Nigeria at the end of June.

Kanu is charged with “terrorism, treason, running an illegal company, publishing defamatory material and illegal possession of firearms,” Nigerian Justice Minister Abubakar Malami said in a statement.

Nnamdi Kanu was first arrested in October 2015, but he took advantage of his bail to leave Nigeria in 2017.

“The trial has been adjourned to October 21” because the authorities failed to present Nnamdi Kanu before the court, his lawyer Aloy Ejimkaor told AFP.

The judge said that “the trial could not start without the accused being present”, the lawyer added.

Many journalists were denied access to the courtroom. The human rights organization, Amnesty International, had called on “the Nigerian authorities” to allow “the media free access to the court to do their work”.

In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf,  HURIWA said the detained leader must be produced alive in Court for trial by the Federal Attorney General unless the government has a sinister motive to precipitate uprising in the South East of Nigeria for the satanic purposes of destroying the economy of the South East of Nigeria. HURIWA has therefore advocated fair trial for all the prisoners of conscience such as Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.  

HURIWA said thus: “Fair trial is observed by a trial judge without being partial and Justice means the ethical, philosophical idea that people are to be treated impertially, fairly properly and reasonably by the law and arbiters of the law. 

Fair hearing means giving equal opportunity to the parties to be heard in the litigation before a court or tribunal, and ad-hoc tribunal inclusive. 

Where parties are given the opportunity to be heard and the charge or complaint against the party standing trial or being investigated made available to them, they cannot complain of breach of fair hearing principles.

The concept of fear hearing in accordance with section 36 (1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended states as follows

“Section 36. (1) In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.”  

Fair Hearing within the meeting of section 36 (1) of the 1999 constitution a trial conducted according to all legal rules formulated to ensure that justice is done to the parties. It is very important to note that this provision also acquire apparently the observance and consideration of twin pillars of the rules of natural justice namely, “audi alteram partem” “hear the other party” and “nemo judex in causa sua” “no one is a judge in his own case”.

A fair trial must involve a fair trial, and a fair trial of a case must consists of the whole hearing. A true test of a fair hearing is the impression of a reasonable person who was present at the trial whether, from his observation, justice has been done in this case. A fair trial are the ways to prevent miscarriage of justice and are essential part of a just society.  

What are Fair Trial or Fair Hearing Right?

The Right to a fair and public criminal trial or a fair and public hearing in civil proceedings is one of the guarantee in relation to legal proceedings fair trial and fair hearing rights include:

• That all person are equal before court and tribunals 

• The Rights to a fair and public hearing before a competent and impartial court or tribunal established by law

The other guarantees are the presumption of innocence, and minimum  guarantees in criminal proceedings, such as rights to counsel and not to be compelled to self incriminate as stipulated in section 36 (5) and section 36 (6)of the 1999 Constitution as amended 

Section 36 (5) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty;  

Provided that nothing in this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes upon any such person the burden of proving particular facts.  

Section 36 (6) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to –  

(a) be informed promptly in the language that he understands and in detail of the nature of the offence;  

(b) be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;  

(c) defend himself in person or by legal practitioners of his own choice;  

(d) examine, in person or by his legal practitioners, the witnesses called by the prosecution before any court or tribunal and obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court or tribunal on the same conditions as those applying to the witnesses called by the prosecution; and  

(e) Have, without payment, the assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand the language used at the trial of the offence.

The importance of fair trial in our society.

Fair trials is the global criminal justice watch dog. It is impossible to overstate how important the right to a fair trial is honestly.

Fair trials are the only way to prevent miscarriages of justice and are an essential part of a just society. Every person accused of a crime should have their guilt or innocence determined by a fair and effective legal process. However, it goes further than protecting suspects and defendants, without fair trials, victims can have no confidence, that justice will be done. Without fair trials, trust in government and the rules of law collapses. 

The Right to a fair trial is recognized internationally as a fundamental Human Rights and countries around the Worlds are required to respect. Despite this, it is being abused across the World with devastating human and social consequences. Legal aid globally are working to put an end to this abuses, towards realizing our vision of a world where every person rights to a fair trial is respected.

The number of people directly affected by criminal justice is growing with new offences created every day and increasing numbers being jailed, Countries are developing swifter way of imposing punishment without a trial.

In conclusion the principles of fair hearing in the judicial proceeding and quasi-judicial proceedings cannot be abandoned or waived. Parties are expected to be given the equal access to court proceedings or Disciplinary committee from its commencement up to the delivery of the final judgment.”

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