No fewer than 16 members of European Union Parliament have called for immediate investigation into cases of human rights abuse in Nigeria.
The call is coming in the wake of the recent damning report by the Amnesty International indicting Nigeria security forces in the extra- judicial killing of over 150 Biafra agitators.
The concerned EU parliamentarians in a letter they addressed to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, also demanded the immediate release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
According to the letter, in Umuahia through IPOB, the parliamentarians also sought the EU to prevail on the Nigerian Government to stop using force against Biafra agitators.
Some of the signatories to the letter include: Julie Ward, Ana Gomes, Bart Staes, Beatriz Becerra, and Brando Benifei.
Others include: Catherine Stihler, Ernest Urtasun, Eva Joly, Hilde Vautmans, Jude Kirton-Darling, Kati Piri and Miapetra Kumpula-Natri.
Michèle Rivasi, Nessa Childers, Pascal Durand, Philippe Lamberts also signed the letter which read in part:
“We write in regards to the unlawful detention of “Nnamdi” Kenny Okwu Kanu, a dual British-Nigerian citizen and Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and the continued violence towards IPOB supporters as perpetrated by the Nigerian Government.
“Since 14th October 2015, Kanu has been illegally imprisoned by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, despite being acquitted of all charges brought against him.
“The authorities accused Kanu and his two co-defendants, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, of trying to overthrow the Nigerian head of state by broadcasting secessionist propaganda on the underground media outlet Radio Biafra, which campaigns for the independence of Biafra from Nigeria. Kanu, Madubugwu and Nwawuisi deny all charges brought against them.
“On 19th October in Abuja, the Chief Magistrate, Hon Shuaibu, discharged Kanu of all criminal charges including the allegation of managing and belonging to an unlawful society, criminal intimidation and of criminal conspiracy. Shuaibu granted Kanu bail, of which all the conditions were met, but the Department of State Services refused to release him.
“The charges of criminal conspiracy, engaging in unlawful society and criminal intimidation were then withdrawn on 16th December 2015, but still Kanu, Madubugwu and Nwawuisi have not been released.
“On 17th December 2015, Justice Adeniyi Ademola ordered the unconditional release of Kanu from the custody of the Department of State Security Services, but this was not enacted.
“Kanu’s counsel have since appealed to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to help ensure his safe release, but to no avail. A court case on 5th October 2016 was later adjourned to 8th November, which has now been amended to 9th February 2017, due to the Nigeria Department of State Services failure to bring Kanu to court.