Bruce Fein, the American counsel for the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has filed a petition against the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and Justice Binta Nyako to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Fein, an international lawyer and spokesperson for Kanu, addressed the petition to Karim Khan, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, in The Hague, asking the ICC to charge Malami and Nyako with “conspiracy and crimes against humanity against Biafrans and their leader Nnamdi Kanu by protracted and systematic resort to murder, extermination, imprisonment, torture, rape, persecution based on political, religious, and ethnic grounds, and industrial-scale theft of property including an ongoing attempted judicial murder of Nnamdi Kanu”.
In the document obtained he made public on Wednesday, Fein said, “In October 2020, five human rights experts of the United Nations Human Rights Council asked President Buhari within 60 days to submit evidence of Mr. Kanu’s terrorism. Mr. Buhari sneered at the overture, probably reflecting, ‘Being a tyrant means you never need to obey the law.’”
It said “Kanu is seeking a Biafran sovereignty,” adding that a referendum is not special pleading.
“South Sudan voted independence from Sudan in a 2011 referendum. The United Kingdom recently afforded Scotland a secession vote and may do so again. Ditto for Canada and Quebec.
“The United States periodically permits Puerto Rico to vote between statehood, independence, or commonwealth status. The legal and moral case for Biafran independence is overwhelming,” he said in the 23-page document.
Stating Malami and Nyako’s “crimes against humanity”, Fein said they include “kidnapping, torture, extraordinary rendition and indefinite arbitrary detention of Nnamdi Kanu in the ongoing attempted judicial murder”
It reads in part, “As an integral part of the ongoing crimes against humanity described above, on or around June 2021, Attorney General Malami conspired with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian Federal High Court Justice Binta Nyako, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, among others, to kidnap and torture Biafran leader Nnamdi Kanu in Nairobi, Kenya, for several days, and then subject him to illegal extraordinary rendition to Abuja, Nigeria.
“There, for more than nine months, Nnamdi Kanu has been detained in solitary confinement in extremely confined quarters and denied necessary medical care and legal counsel without a trial with the illegal imprimatur of co-conspirator Justice Binta Nyako. The conditions under which Nnamdi Kanu is subsisting satisfies the definition of torture under the Convention Against Torture, Article 1 paragraph 1.
“Attorney General Malami has conceded that Nigeria’s security agencies were involved in Nnamdi Kanu’s abduction, torture, and extraordinary rendition but has attempted to whitewash the crimes with the falsehood that the International Police Organization (INTERPOL) was a collaborator. The extraordinary rendition in violation of Kenya’s extradition provisions, which was effectuated by the use of a private aircraft, could not have been accomplished without the knowledge and consent of co-conspirator President Kenyatta, who himself has been previously accused of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
“Judges, like co-conspirator Justice Binta Nyako, are not shielded from criminal prosecution for crimes against humanity based on participation in patently illegal show trials. Neither are prosecutors like arch-conspirator Attorney General Malami. The precedent was set in the “Justice Case” of the post-World War II Nuremberg trials, United States v. Joseph Altstetter, et al.
“There both Nazi prosecutors and judges were tried and convicted of crimes against humanity by judicial murder through the destruction of law and justice and utilizing the empty forms of legal process to persecute or exterminate on a wide scale based in race, religion, or political opinion.
“A 15-count amended charge against Nnamdi Kanu was filed by co-conspirator Attorney General Malami before co-conspirator Justice Binta Nyako at the eleventh hour of a scheduled January 18, 2022, hearing to entertain a challenge to a predecessor, bogus, 7-count amended charge. The new charges represent a destruction of law and justice with the aim of the judicial murder of Nnamdi Kanu. The patently defective charges carry the death penalty.
“Under Section 36 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution, an accused is entitled to a “fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal…constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.” It is notorious that Nigeria’s executive branch routinely flouts court orders with impunity and judges take orders from conspirator Attorney General Malami and co-conspirator President Buhari.
“Judges like co-conspirator Justice Nyako are complicit by refusing to punish government officials for contempt of court. Conspirator Attorney General Malami shamelessly proclaimed during his July 26, 2019, hearing before the National Assembly that constitutional rights were subservient to his warped, idiosyncratic conception of the public good.
“To Malami’s lawless way of thinking, the Nigerian Constitution is nothing but a scrap of paper to be shredded at will by the executive branch, and judges are its puppets contrary to the judicial independence injunction of Section 36 (1).
“Nnamdi Kanu has also been denied his right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time. More than nine months have elapsed since his illegal extraordinary rendition from Nairobi, Kenya to Abuja, Nigeria, and there has yet to be a trial or opportunity for Nnamdi Kanu to confront his accusers before an impartial judge unbeholden to the executive branch.
“Attorney General Malami and Justice Nyako have conspired in this attempted judicial murder of Nnamdi Kanu through indefinite detention under cruel conditions constituting torture.
“Section 36 (3) ordains that court proceedings “be held in public” to deter injustice. Sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants; the electric light the most efficient policeman.
“Under no circumstances may the parties or their legal representatives be excluded; others may be under Section 36 (4) (a) if publicity would defeat justice or impair legitimate government interests. Malami and Justice Nyako have conspired to illegally exclude one or more of Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyers from the court and the media.
“Section 36 (5) establishes a presumption of innocence. In contrast, Nnamdi Kanu has been presumed guilty by co-conspirators Malami and Nyako and punished since his illegal extraordinary rendition last June 2021, including torture.”
It concludes that “there is a reasonable basis to conclude that co-conspirators Attorney-General Abubakar Malami and Justice Binta Nyako are guilty of crimes against humanity as defined in Article 7 of the Rome Statute including the ongoing attempted judicial murder of Nnamdi Kanu.
“Multiple witnesses are eager, willing, and able to provide oral testimony with appropriate confidentiality and protection as stipulated in Chapter 2, Section II, Subsection 2 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
“The Chief Prosecutor has a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation of co-conspirators Malami and Nyako for crimes against humanity, including the ongoing judicial murder of Nnamdi Kanu. Accordingly, the Chief Prosecutor should submit to the Pre-Trial Chamber a request for such authorization under Article 15, paragraph 3 of the Rome Statute.”