Dennis Naku, Port Harcourt
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People has disclosed plans to begin a mass protest against the Federal Government if it fails to clear the names of the late environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and eight of his kinsmen of murder.
The President, MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, who stated this during a media briefing in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday, said the Ogoni nine were unjustly hanged by a military tribunal set up by the Federal Government on November 10, 1995.
Nsuke said they were denied the right of appeal against the rules of the tribunal that found them guilty of murder and consequently sentenced them to death by hanging.
He stated, “We are not talking about whether or not a crime was committed, but the aspect that worries us is that the trial wasn’t fair. Despite that, the men were executed barely 10 days after the judgment was delivered. According to the law that sets up the tribunal itself, the men had 30 days to appeal.
“Ordinarily it should have been 90 days, but that tribunal set 30 days for them to appeal. They were not even allowed the 30 days before they were hanged. That is the injustice we are talking about.
“So, as far as MOSOP is concerned and as far as Ogoni is concerned, they were innocent men. They were given am unfair trial and killed as murderers. There isn’t much we can do because they are dead already. What we are saying is that their names should be cleared, because Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other eight were very dear to us.”
While noting that a formal request had been made to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), asking him to clear the name of the nine Ogoni men, he said, “We also understand that it will help resolve the larger Ogoni problem.”