A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned hearing on the suit filed by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) seeking a referendum to determine the fate of Biafra and other self-determination agitations to January 27, 2023.
CNG had in June 2021 dragged the National Assembly and the Attorney-General of the Federation to Court, asking the it to compel the defendants to halt the ongoing constitutional review exercise and in its place, conduct a referendum to determine what determines Nigeria and who populates it.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who presided over the matter, granted all the motions to allow interested parties to be joined in the suit.
Counsel to CNG, Barrister Sufiyanu Gambo, while speaking with journalists after the adjournment, said the Court had adjourned to 27 January for taking all the application to enable us have the processes and then respond appropriately.
Gambo said: “We amended all our processes directed by the court and as order parties are equally joined for defendant which is senate, National Assembly and Attorney General, so about 16 parties were added and then between last hearing and today.
“There are a lot of people who have filed the application to joined and we are unable to certain some of them because we only see them in court introducing their application to have filed to joined and because we don’t have the processes”.
In his reaction, the spokesperson of CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, lamented that the suit had suffered too many adjustments with few months.
His words: “We feel the suit has suffered too many adjustments. It’s been dragging for about a year now without commencing hearing. But the delays are about process. The suit is developing into an interesting national issue and we’re confident the result would put all agitations to rest.
“We’re assured by the requests coming by parties seeking to be joined as defendants in the case. This testifies to the fact that after all, we at CNG have taken the necessary decision by taking this legal option for the resolution of the lingering crisis of trust that appears to be overwhelming all other previous options.
“We’re are also confident that in the end the court, a temple of justice, would dispense justice appropriately in the interest of the future of Nigeria”.
However, the Ibom nation people movement counsel, Barrister Adesina Oke, who applied to join the application, disclosed that the Ibom nation agitators were also interested in self-determination.
He said: “It important people should express themselves that is why is very very imperative for us to join this suite because the court move that you can’t prevent people from matter that is interested to them. We want to be identified on our own, we are different culture and we different people”.
In his remarks, the lead counsel for the Igbo Nation, Victor Onweremadu, said: “When this suite was instituted, I was purely against it from the beginning, the plaintiff asked the five Eastern States to exist from this country that is the genesis of this suit.
“You can see that is creating a wild fire under the ethnicity across the country and they are now applying to be join the suite, in the last adjournment Igbo filed application to join on the suite and we are properly joined.
“One important lesson we should learned from this is that, Nigeria is living on the keg of powder, because many Nigerians are not happy that is why they don’t believe in one Nigeria.”