On the 10th of May, 2023, the Lagos State Ministry of Justice announced that the trial of the Eze Ndigbo Fredrick Nwajagu in Lagos State for alleged terrorism charges will commence in July.
According to a statement from the Director of Public Affairs in the Ministry of Justice, Grace Alo, Nwajago was brought before the court by the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo.
According to the Prosecuting Superintendent of Police, Nwajagu put fear in Lagos residents when he threatened to bring IPOB to the state.
He submitted that Nwajagu publicly said that IPOB would shut Lagos State for one month.
From the viewpoint of a random onlooker, the Lagos State government might be scored as being proactive in forestalling the breakdown of law and order in the state, however, when Nwajagu’s statement is examined within the context of preceding threats and attacks launched against Igbos in Lagos state, one would reach the conclusion that it is a clear case of selective justice, the elevation of ethnic prebendalism and the systemic persecution of the Igbo race.
It would be recalled that prior to Nwajagu’s infamous declaration that Igbos would employ self-help in defending themselves, there had been a swarm of inciting rhetoric, inflammatory comments and genocidal actions targeted at Igbos in the buildup to and aftermath of the March gubernatorial election in the State.
Recall that on the 8th of March, hoodlums said to be supporters of APC stormed Akere Market in Tolu, shouting that Igbo must leave Lagos as they set fire to the market.
A security guard in the market who resisted the thugs was stabbed to death while many others were injured, according to reports.
One victim said, “They have been threatening us that we should leave Lagos. They have told us that they would burn our markets, and they have called some of us to their meeting where they threatened to wipe us out. They are on social media, even making videos with their face and names on the video, yet security agencies didn’t do anything to caution them or bring them to book.
“They destroyed some of our shops at Ikotun, Abaranje, and Ijegun and now it is Akere Spare parts market. This one is monumental because we lost billions. Some of our goods perished with the money inside. The thugs targeted us when we were still sleeping to commit the dastardly act. Some of us borrowed the money we used to bring in containers from the banks, see what they have done to us.”
Another victim, Pius Nwokedike, said he lost over N100 million to the violence. “We could not salvage anything because none of us was in the market. They acted like the devil who sneaked in in the wee hours to destroy our market.
In a separate incident, a staunch supporter and thug leader of the APC in Lagos, MC Oluomo was seen in a meeting with party supporters publicly threatening Igbos and warning them against voting in the Governorship election.
The statement is credited to have sparked the wave of igbo-centric violence that outrageously marred the March 18th election in the State where igbos were haunted, hounded, oppressed and intimidated.
Calls by well-meaning Nigerians for the arrest of MC Oluomo for inciting violence were dismissively waived by the security agencies who looked on in systemic complicity.
It was the deluge of ethnic slurs and violence acts targeted at Igbos that elicited calls and arrangements for self-defence which is valid under law.
Need us add that in law, provocation is also a defence. The provocative actions of thugs and touts backed up by highly placed individuals and compromised institutions of state made self-defence a necessity.
If Nwajagu is been prosecuted for comments deemed as inciting, why is MC Oluomo still parading with impunity as a free man? Justice must not only be done but must been seen to be manifestly and absolutely done.
The trial of Mr Nwajagu is an activation of the wheels of selective justice which might be a more cruel form of injustice.
Those who provoked his comments must also be brought to book and made to pay for all the unwarranted losses suffered by Igbos before, during and after the elections.