Abuja - A coalition of human rights groups in
the Southeast has opposed any plans for a secret trial of activist, Nnamdi
This follows reports Justice John Tsoho would emerge as
the next Chief Justice.
The Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights
Organisations (SBCHROs) said “reliable” sources had informed that the current
CJ, Ibrahim Auta and his second in command, Adamu Abdu Kafarati might most
likely bow out of the bench in 2017 at the same time on the grounds of
mandatory retirement age of 65 and 35 years of service respectively.
This, they said, might pave way for Tsoho to emerge as
the next CJ as he is third in command.
The organisations have previously criticised Tsoho of the
Court 3 Division of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, for his handling
of the case of Kanu, who is facing terrorism charges.
Also Read: Dad says Kanu brilliant, intelligent
They alleged even before the trial was yet to commence,
Tsoho had already found Kanu guilty during his ruling on bail application on of
“Nigerians and members of the international community
should not express surprises if the trial Judge, as usual, grants or rules in
favour of secret trial of Kanu (POC) and others,” SBCHROs said.
“Seeking for secret trial of Nnamdi Kanu and others is a
total indication of trumped up charges and trumped up trial with trumped up
witnesses and pieces of evidence. This is not only a case of persecution; but
also a clear manifestation of the fact that Auta Justice is already returned!”
Auta headed a military tribunal constituted by late Gen
Sani Abacha that condemned to death Ken Saro Wiwa and other eight Ogoni
activists, leading to their hanging on in 1995 without a right of appeal.
Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Kanu
in October in Lagos. His quest for freedom has failed after DSS defied court
orders to release him.
- CAJ News