Allow Igbo secession – Northern Coalition

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Uba Group

The Coalition of Northern Groups has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to order the National Assembly to hasten the exit of the South-East region from Nigeria.

The group of elders and politicians from the North, led by Nastura Shariff, Balarabe Rufa’I, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman and Aminu Adam, in a suit prayed that this should be addressed before the conclusion of the ongoing constitution amendment.

According to them, allowing Igbo to secede would end violence and destruction in the South-East.

The Coalition stated that this would prevent a repeat of the civil war of 1967 to 1970, that led to wanton destruction of lives and property.

They added that it would end the agitations by the members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, led by Nnamdi Kanu.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and National Asembly were joined as defendants in the suit.

They prayed, among others, for “a declaration that combined effect of the provisions of Section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 1, 2, and 20(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004, the National Assembly, sued as the fourth defendant “is empowered to set in motion a framework for a referendum to allow the South-Eastern region of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to decide on their bid for self-determination.”

They also urged the court to order the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants (the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the National Assembly), “to provide a framework that will pave way for the self-determination of the South-Eastern states so as to leave the geographical entity called Nigeria before any further step is taken to further amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can be further amended at any time after the question of self-determination must have been resolved by Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, lawyers from the South-East, led by Chuks Muoma (SAN) have applied to the court to join them as defendants in the suit.

The lawyers, including Ukpai Ukairo, Ebere Uzoatu and Obi Emuka, asked for order of the court to allow them join in the suit as representatives of the people of the South-East region.

In their application, filed on Monday by Victor Onweremadu, they said the case of the Northern elders seeking the exit of South-East from Nigeria had the capability to shape the life of the generation of Igbo people.

The motion on notice for the joinder request was brought pursuant to order 9 rule 5 and order 26 rule 2 of the Federal High Court civil procedure rule 2019.

The Igbo lawyers said they had interest to protect in the suit, hence, their request to be made defendants.

In the 12-paragraph affidavit in support of their application, the lawyers said that the Coalition of Northern Groups, in the suit did not think it necessary to join the people of South-East or their representatives to enable the court hear from them.