A legal practitioner in Onitsha, Anambra state and immediate past Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Idemili branch, Ben Okoko, has carpeted Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja for what he termed her discriminatory and strange bail conditions granted to the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu. He said the conditions were glaringly so discriminatory and strange that they are tantamount to setting a dangerous precedence.
Speaking to newsmen in Onitsha, yesterday, Okoko however urged the IPOB leader, Kanu not to be deterred by the bail conditions handed to him because according to him, as a freedom fighter, Kanu should know that freedom fighters all over the world are more or less like political prisoners. also noted that as a freedom fighter, if the bail conditions could deter him from continuing with the struggle for self determination of his people, which is recognized under both the United Nations Charter and other international laws, then his tormentors would have succeeded in winning their intention to stop him from his efforts to restore Biafra.
Okoko who is also the representative of National Executive Committee, NEC of NBA, Idemili branch, further noted that Kanu should not chicken out or relent in fighting the course for the freedom of his people.
He described the bail conditions as outrageous as they were, adding that some aspects of them were unconstitutional and in breach of his fundamental rights to freedom of association, freedom of movement and freedom speech. According to the NBA chieftain, “The aspect restricting him from being in company of more than 10 persons, from traveling or from granting press interviews and the aspect of mandating him to call a Jewish leader are so discriminatory and strange that they are tantamount to setting a dangerous precedence”.
“Though, we thank God that he was granted bail at last, otherwise the essence of bail is to release the defendant or accused to his friends and relations to enable him attend to his trials, Okoko further stated, adding, besides, asking his sureties to deposit a particular amount to the tune of N100 million each is preposterous and designed to be a mission impossible, as if the bail was not granted in the first place”.
He said it smacked off acting out a script from the federal government which is a negation of the independence of the judiciary and as such, very unhealthy for our nascent democracy, stressing that it should never be used as a precedence or yard stick in future, no matter how grievous such an offence might look like, provided it is a bailable offence.