A Federal High Court in Abuja has been asked to compel the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to hasten the exit of the South-Eastern region out of Nigeria before concluding on-going amendment to the country’s constitution.
The request for court order to compel hastening of South East exit from Nigeria formed one of the three prayers sought in a suit marked, FHC/ABJ/ CS/538/2021, instituted by a group of elders and politicians from Kano State led by Nastura Ashir Shariff, Balarabe Rufa’I, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman and Aminu Adam.
In their suit, they averred in a supporting affidavit that their action was informed by the need to stem the tide of violence and destruction being allegedly occasioned by the agitation for secession, championed by the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Listed as defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly.
The plaintiffs prayed the court for the following reliefs:
“A declaration that, by the combined effect of the provisions of section 4 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and Articles 1, 2, and 20(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004, the 4th defendant (the National Assembly) 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.
“A declaration that in view of the provisions of Articles 1, 2, 4, 14 and 20(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004, the 2nd and 3rd defendants (the Senate President and House of Reps Speaker) have the power to call for a joint session of both chambers of the 4th defendant to deliberate on the agitation for self-determination by the South-Eastern states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“An order directing the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants 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 first plaintiff in the suit, Shariff, stated in the supporting affidavit he deposed to that IPOB, founded by Nnamdi Kanu has been agitating for self-determination by way of creation of the independent state of Biafra away from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, has assigned the case to Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo and has been fixed for November 1. 2021 for hearing.