- Says it’s to cause diplomatic row between Nigeria, US
- Demands investigation of plaintiffs
… Paschal Okeke
A civil liberty organisation, Movement of the People of Nigeria, on Wednesday alleged that the persons behind the lawsuit against personnel of Nigerian military authorities in the United States (US), were not Nigerians “but terrorists and extremists.”
The group, which demanded an investigation of their real identities, however promised to raise its own team of lawyers to confront anyone desperate to rubbish the image of the country or attempts to further diminish its citizenry before the international community.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees of MPN, Dr. Innocent Oche Pita, told journalists in Abuja that the suit was aimed at causing a diplomatic row between Nigeria and US.
The suit was said to have been instituted by some persons against Nigeria’s military leadership before a US District Court for the District of Columbia.
But the MPN described it as an abuse of the Torture Victims Protection Act and Alien Tort Claims Act Complaint of the United States.
“The world is aware that Nigeria has suffered in the hands of terrorists and extremists and the Biafra agitators are another brand of terrorists that must not be admitted into the United States, Nigeria or any other peace loving nation. It will be wise for the Donald Trump’s administration and the security agencies to discretely investigate the plaintiffs as regards their activities in the United State before they become the kind of nuisance that is presently threatening the United Kingdom and other European countries”, MPN alleged.
The MPN said much as it was glaring that the US courts lack jurisdiction to try such issues, there is no record or evidence that the Nigerian Military abused the rights of any citizen within or outside the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The group said those who fear such “are common criminals who had held the country by the jugular in the recent past through acts like banditry, kidnaping and gun-for-hire.”
According to Pita, the suit is nothing short of a calculated attempt to rubbish the US judiciary for its liberal stand on human rights and protection of lives.
He said it was to allegedly abuse the law under which the suit was filed so that it no longer serves the purpose for which it was crafted, “and to use it to cause strain in Nigeria – US relations.”
MPN said, “Secrecy in a case that claims to be as grounded as the plaintiffs claimed is dubious as it implies that criminals can hide under such unanimity to further questionable agenda. The plaintiffs would only fear exposing their identities either because they are not real in the first place or that they are persons with criminal records in the US.
“Our position is that these people behind the suit are not Nigerians and should stop dragging the name of our country’s military to the mud. This is why we are worried that even non-Nigerians can be coached to give evidence since it is apparent that the people that filed the suit are not honest enough to show themselves.
“We will raise our own team of lawyers to confront anyone or any group that is out to rubbish the image of our great country or attempts to further diminish its citizenry in the eyes of citizens of the world.”