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Genocide: Biafra Group Drags FG To Court Over Starvation, Deaths

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Biafra, Oct.1968 Catholic feeding centre east of Oguta

An Owerri High Court has yesterday commenced proceedings in a suit
brought against the Federal Government by a human rights group under
the aegis of Bilie Human Rights Initiative in the Suit No. FHC/OW/CS/102/2012 “for the self actualization and self determination
of the The People of Biafra”.

The suit against the FG and the Attorney-General of the Federation
seeks to enforce the rights of indigenous people of Biafra to
self-determination and independence which was brought by way of
originating summons.

They also seek compensation for the deaths, losses suffered by the
people of the South-Eastern Nigeria in the hands of the federal
forces/government, which they viewed as haranguing, genocidal and
economically strangulating of people of that area.
The group said they were determined to forge a new nation- Republic of
Biafra, with its land, littoral and continental shelves. They dragged
Nigeria as represented by President Goodluck Jonathan and the Attorney
General of the Federation to Owerri Federal High Court over the
inalienable right of the descendants of the ancestors of Biafraland
who are the remnants that were not consumed by the 1967-1970 genocidal
war in which about three million Biafrans were killed, to
self-determination and thus are praying the court to pronounce the
territory as it was pre 1967 independent and sovereign in the light of
relevant charters on Human and Peoples rights, realities of the
incompatibility of those who make-up the geo-space called Nigeria
among others.

In a press release made available by the spokesperson of BILIE Human
Rights Initiative, Comrade Arinzechukwu Awogu in Awka, copy of which
was made available to The Guardian, signed by the group’s Secretary
General, Elder Eddy Anyanwu, the group made good its threat to take
the Nigerian government to court over Biafra’s quest for independence
and other unresolved pre and post Nigeria-Biafra war issues, which
included the use of starvation as “legitimate instrument of warfare,”
the bombing of civilian targets, the 20 Pounds per account holder
policy, the abandoned property saga, the hasty indigenization policy
enacted and implemented before the recovery of war affected people of
Biafra, among other vexed issues.

Comrade Arinzechukwu Awogu believes that “Bilie Human Rights
Initiative has commenced what would eventually lead to a peaceful and
coordinated political and economic freedom for the people of Biafra.
We are using legal method in our approach. We are in court to seek
legal clarity on our right to self-determination vis-a-vis our
inalienable right to decide our political future under Biafra
geo-space. I consider that, with this legal action, we in BILIE Human
Rights Initiative have decided to fast track our legal effort to
compel the Nigerian government to among other things cease arresting
anybody answering to or wearing Biafran emblem, insigner or any
material that reflect their believe in Biafra. This is to make it
possible for law in Nigeria to give clarity on this very important
issue and to prevent the Nigerian state from using intimidation and
unlawful acts to suppress the agitation for Biafra.

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“We need to put this thing in law, to test the validity of the claims
by Nigeria. We will be asking the Nigerian government in court to
tell the world if the word “Biafra” is a crime.”

The suit also sought to know whether the Defendants (Nigeria and
Nigerians) were right to seize and confiscate the assets, properties,
money, and all treasures belonging to the Claimants (Biafrans) by
promulgating the Abandoned Properties Act of 28th September 1979 while
the 1963 Constitution was in force, being more than nine years after
the war and after the declaration of “One Nigeria” while regarding the
Claimants (Biafrans) as Nigerian citizens but depriving them of their
properties, money and assets; and if the answer is in the negative,
whether the Defendants (Nigeria and Nigerians) are still justified to
withhold the said money, properties and assets belonging to the
Claimants (Biafrans).

It also sought the Court’s pronouncement on whether the Defendants
(Nigeria and Nigerians) were justified to violate the International
Humanitarian Law and the Laws of War known as the Geneva Convention
1949 (to which the Defendants acceded and ratified on 20th June 1961)
by bombing the Biafran civilians, killing the Biafran civilians and
using starvation to kill the children, women and the elderly of the
civilian population of the indigenous people of Biafra in the war of
1967 1970 in order to win the war, as was partly revealed by Prof.
Chinua Achebe in his latest book “There Was A Country.”

The suit is also asking the court whether the Defendants (Nigeria and
Nigerians) by registering Nigeria as a member of the Organization of
Islamic Countries (OIC) in 1986 and licensing an Islamic Sharia Bank
in Nigeria under the 1999 Constitution contrary to Section 10 of the
Constitution of Nigeria have violated the Constitution and turned
Nigeria into an Islamic country; and if the answer is in the
affirmative, whether the Claimants (Biafrans) have the right to
dissociate themselves from the Defendants (Nigeria and Nigerians) and
refuse to answer the citizens of an Islamic country in the exercise
of their right to freedom of worship, freedom of association and
self-determination as a people

Excerpts of the press statement read thus: BILIE HUMAN RIGHTS
INITIATIVE is a human rights organization and the only legal entity in
Nigeria registered with the United Nations as an Indigenous Peoples
Organization (IPO) and also as Incorporated Trustees by the Corporate
Affairs Commission Abuja for the purpose of protecting, defending and
advocating for the rights of indigenous people of Biafra and all other
indigenous peoples and nationalities within Nigeria whose rights and
freedoms are violated by the Nigerian Government contrary to the
United Nations Charter on Human Rights and the African Charter on
Human and Peoples Rights. The word “Bilie” means “Stand Up” or “Arise”
in Igbo Language. We are calling on all Igbo speaking people in
Nigeria to stand up for their rights. Bilie is a human rights group
advocating for the rights of the descendants of the ancestors of
Biafraland who are the remnants that were not consumed by the
1967-1970 genocidal war in which about three million Biafrans were
killed. Bilie Human Rights Initiative is a national liberation
movement for the purposes of international law with power to represent
all indigenous people of Biafra in legal actions against any person or
any Government whether in the Nigerian Courts or in the International
Court of Justice in The Hague.

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They noted that the briefing was to let the world know what is
happening in Nigeria. The safety of the lives and properties of
indigenous people of Biafra living in Nigeria are no longer
guaranteed. The Biafrans were forced to surrender their sovereignty
and become Nigerian citizens on the promise that their lives and
properties would be protected by the Government of Nigeria. Now, it
has become clear that the Government of Nigeria is impotent and
incompetent to protect the indigenous people of Biafra who were not
consumed by the war. In fact, the Nigeria Police and Army Officers
have continued to harass, intimidate, arrest, detain and kill the
Biafran human rights activists who are agitating for the
self-determination and independence of Biafra by peaceful means but
spare the militant activists from other tribes agitating for their own
tribes. There is a clear policy of discrimination, marginalization,
oppression and racism against the remnants of the indigenous people of
Biafra living in Nigeria which has caused some of them to deny their
identity in order to receive favours from the Federal Government of
Nigeria. The situation has compelled Bilie Human Rights Initiative to
file multiple suits against the Federal Government of Nigeria and its
agents on behalf of the indigenous people of Biafra to protect their
human and peoples’ rights. At the moment, the two suits we have filed
are as follows:
(a) Case for the Self-determination and Independence of Biafra
(b) Case for the Eastern Pilot Newspaper against the violation of our
freedom of expression

 

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