The Coalition of Northern Groups has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the National Assembly to hasten the exit of the South East region out of Nigeria.
In the suit instituted by the group of elders and politicians from the North led by Nastura Shariff, Balarabe Rufa’I, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman and Aminu Adam, they pleaded that this should be done before the conclusion of the ongoing amendment to constitution.
They argued that allowing Igbo to secede would end violence and destruction in the South East.
They also explained that this will prevent a repeat of the Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970, that led to wanton destruction of lives and property.
The plaintiffs also said it would put an end to the agitations by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and National Asembly were listed as defendants in the suit.
They prayed for, among others, “a declaration that combined effect of the provisions of Section 4 of the Nigerian constitution and Articles 1, 2, and 20(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004, the National Assembly, sued as the fourth defendant “is empowered to set in motion a framework for a referendum to allow the South-Eastern region of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to decide on their bid for self-determination.”
They also urged the court to order the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants ( the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the National Assembly), “to provide a framework that will pave way for the self-determination of the South-Eastern states so as to leave the geographical entity called Nigeria before any further step is taken to further amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can be further amended at any time after the question of self-determination must have been resolved by Nigerians,” the plaintiffs said.
Meanwhile, lawyers from the South East, led by Chuks Muoma (SAN) have applied to the court to join them as defendants in the suit.
Other lawyers that applied to the court include Ukpai Ukairo, Ebere Uzoatu and Obi Emuka.
They are asking for order of the court to allow them join in the suit as representatives of the people of the South East region.
In their application for joinder filed on Monday by Victor Onweremadu, they said the case of the Northern elders seeking the exit of South East from Nigeria had the capability to shape the life of the generation of Igbo people.
The motion on notice for the joinder request was brought pursuant to order 9 rule 5 and order 26 rule 2 of the Federal High Court civil procedure rule 2019.
The Igbo lawyers said they had interest to protect in the suit, hence, their request to be made defendants.
In the 12-paragraph affidavit in support of their application, the lawyers said the Coalition of Northern Groups, in the suit did not think it necessary to join the people of South East or their representatives to enable the court hear from them.