The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has petitioned the Federal High Court in Abuja to include it as a respondent in an action brought by four Northern elders demanding the South-expulsion of the East from Nigeria.
Dickson Sofiyegha and Temedie Peter-Great, two legal practitioners, filed the joinder application on behalf of the INC and its incorporated trustees.
Nastura Ashir Shariff, Balarabe Rufa’i, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman, and Aminu Adam, the four plaintiffs in the original complaint numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/538/2021, are pleading with the court to approve their pleas to prevent a repetition of the Civil War’s tragic events.
Defendants in the case include the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the National Assembly.
On Thursday, the court, presided over by Justice Ekwo Ekwo, delayed the case to March 4, 2022, when the apex Ijaw socio-cultural organization’s joinder plea will be heard.
Prof Benjamin Okaba, the INC’s national president, Bomo Tom-Fetepigi, the INC’s national legal adviser, Bomo Tom-Fetepigi, the INC’s national secretary, Ebipamowei Wodu, the INC’s Abuja chapter chairman, Ebizimo Okolo, and other famous Ijaw sons and daughters were among those in court.
Some Igbo attorneys submitted a motion for joinder in October 2021, claiming that the genuine situation of the people of the region had yet to be stated in the litigation.
Okaba said in a statement following the filing of the joinder that the legal action was in line with Ijaw people’s resolutions at the All Ijaw Summit on December 4, 2021, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to pursue and defend their right to self-determination through peaceful, lawful, and non-violent means.
“Any union or commercial partnership that fails to breed or guarantee mutual advantages on a consistent basis must be reorganized or ended to prevent insolvency, when there is no hope of repairing a malignant limb, the only option is amputation to preserve a life.” He warned.
In response to allegations by certain proponents of the Biafra Republic that they own Ijaw land, Okaba emphasized that the Ijaw nation was never colonized, even throughout the pre-colonial and colonial periods.
“If the Ijaw nation must leave, the process must be peaceful and under the auspices of the Ijaw Republic,” he stated. This is something that all secessionists should be aware of.”