Published on the Biafra Post 
December 7, 2023 
Written By Obulose Chidiebere

On the 15th of December 2023, the Supreme Court is set to deliver a decision that could potentially reshape the texture of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) - as a nonviolent Self-determination Movement, and its charismatic leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The ongoing legal confrontation has been a focal point of discussions, with the IPOB consistently advocating for peace and dialogue while emphasizing the importance of the Federal government to obey the court resolutions of its own judiciary.

To understand the significance of this upcoming judgement, it is crucial to look into the historical context surrounding Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB since the incept of their agitation. Kanu, a prominent figure in the Biafra freedom Quest, has been at the center of a legal cum political contentions that has spanned for several years. His arrest, abduction, extraordinary rendition - two years ago, and the charges levied thereof by the Nigerian state against him, have sparked real controversies over the objectivity of the Nigerian state in addressing the following; Indigenous People's right to Self-determination, Freedom of Expression and supremacy of the law etc as local and International law demands.

Despite unwavering call for the restoration of the independent Biafran state, IPOB has consistently reiterated its commitment to peaceful means of achieving the objective. The organization has alternatively advocated for dialogue and open-door diplomacy in resolving the problem in between the two entities, of which one of the most preeminent means she has proposed overtime, as a permanent solution to the agitation, is the conduction of an Internationally supervised referendum that would enable the people of Eastern Nigeria to decide if they wish to continue in the Nigerian amalgamated union – as its statutory of time has already passed (a century ago, 1914-2014). 

Although, this nonviolent posture may have somewhat draw admiration and support to the movement around the world, it has also undoubtedly brought unbearable adversity upon the movement with it -  which ordinarily could not have been endured. The Nigerian Government marshalled out a heavy crackdown policy against IPOB, with over 5,000 unarmed civil members/protesters and sympathizers of the group killed or unaccounted for in ten years, excluding those forcefully disappeared and detained indefinitely without trial, as well as the group's leader who was extraordinarily renditioned over  two years ago from Kenya. Amidst all these, the IPOB movement not even for a day, lifted a finger in retaliation against what is clearly an unruly aggressive government policy, that is legitimately resistible by the provisions of International law and standards on self-defense.

The importance of adherence to court orders has been one of the most central pivot of IPOB. The group argues that respect to the rule of law is essential for a just and functioning society. This insistence and confidence in legal processes has been both a strategic tact for justification, and a reflection of the organization's commitment to non-violence method of agitation. Hence, the upcoming Supreme Court decision will attest as to how far the Nigerian legal system is willing to go in upholding justice, which unarguably is in favor of IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

The case of the IPOB Leader having also attracted the attention of the Global Community, with human rights organizations, various foreign governments and mainstream media, closely monitoring developments. Thus, the outcome of the Supreme Court decision could have far-reaching implications, not only for the IPOB movement and its supporters but also for the broader discourse on the right to pursue self-determination by every Indigenous population in the world.

Moreover, the case also raises questions about the role of international law in addressing self-determination clause. Advocates for Biafran independence - which the most proficient of them, is the IPOB movement - have sought support from the international community, emphasizing and citing the principles of human rights and the people's right to self-determination as enshrined in international code of conducts and charters of the United Nations which Nigeria is signatory to. So, the Nigerian Supreme Court is thereby obliged to prompt a re-evaluation of how international legal norms intersect with domestic legal processes while issuing its judgement on the 15th.

As the D-Day approaches, the eyes of the world pointed on the Supreme Court, expecting its long-awaited judgement regarding Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The potential game-changing nature of this ruling extends beyond IPOB as elaborated above, rather encompassing issues of human rights, the rule of law, and the complexities surrounding people's self-determination quest. Whether the decision will eventually align with the commitment of IPOB to peaceful and nonviolent resolution of strained dissension or introduces new dynamics which the movement will capitalize in making its case onwards, remains to be seen but one thing is certain, its effect and aftermath will undoubtedly reverberate both nationally and globally. The time is ticking! 

Edited By: Enenienwite Ikechukwu
Publisher Anyi Kings 



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