Court Strikes Out Suit Seeking Exit of Igbos from Nigeria

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, struck out a suit instituted by a Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) seeking to compel the Igbo ethnic group to quit Nigeria.

The suit was filed in 2022 by the group made up of elders and politicians from the North, led by Nastura Shariff, Balarabe Rufa’i, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman and Aminu Adam.

However, when the case came up for hearing, the presiding judge, Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo promptly threw it out for want of diligent prosecution following the persistent absence of the plaintiffs in court to establish their case as none of the plaintiffs, lawyers or representatives were present.

Justice Ekwo held that after going through the case file, the court discovered that the CNG have not been coming to court since 2022 till date and had no legal representation, and that from all indications, the plaintiffs have abandoned their own suit.

The Northern group had filed the case asking the court to compel the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to hasten the exit of the southeastern region out of Nigeria.

In their submission, they had pleaded that the case should be done before the conclusion of the amendment of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution since the Igbos themselves had requested to secede from the country called Nigeria.

In the suit, the group had opined that allowing the Igbo to exit Nigeria would end violence and destruction in the South-East.

The plaintiffs also said allowing the Igbos to exit Nigeria would stop a repeat of the 1967-1970 Civil War in Nigeria that led to wanton destruction of lives and property, while also putting an end to agitations by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu.

Part of the group’s prayers was 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, 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.