Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Hate speech: Igbo Board of Deputies give Tunde Bakare 7 days to recant or face legal battle - ITREALMS

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The Igbo Board of Deputies (IBD) has given a Lagos-based Pastor, Mr. Tunde Bakare of Citadel Global Community Church, seven days to recant his false narrative that Igbo soldiers killed the former Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Tafawa Balewa during the 1966 military coup or face legal actions at both local and international courts, reports ITREALMS.
Okeke Attorneys versus Tunde Bakare
Bakare, ITREALMS gathered from the video transcript, had asserted “on the day the late Tafawa Balewa was killed the Igbo soldiers arrested him, removed his turban, poured wine on his head, and forced him to drink and then shot him. While he was being killed, he cursed the Igbo race; that they would never govern Nigeria.”

The group which described Bakare’s statement as hate speech and genocide incitement against Ndigbo in Nigeria, has also put the United Nations agencies including the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice on notice.

The Igbo Board of Deputies, a non-profit entity registered under the South African law said Tunde Bakare’s must recant his falsehood.

This falsehood, according to Austin Okeke of Okeke Attorneys, the attorneys to the Igbo Board of Deputies in a letter to Mr. Bakare dated April 19, 2022 and made available to ITREALMS as well as copied to various UN agencies said, it was aired and viewed widely at the heart of Lenten season globally and could be accessed via a link.

The group also said it waited till end of Lent to see if Mr. Bakare would recant his hate speech and or withdraw the incitement of genocide against the Igbo people, all to no avail, which further confirmed a well thought out sermon.

“It is very obvious that your speech on the day was well thought out, planned, and executed so as to achieve the purpose it was designed.

“These comments were made deliberately at a very fragile and tensed period in the history of Nigeria, when insecurity and killings are rife.

They demanded that Tunde Bakare recant his falsehood about Ndigbo and 1966 military coup.

“We have been instructed to demand from you, as we hereby do, to recant your statements using the same pulpit within 7 days from the date hereof. Failing which, we have instructions to approach the appropriate forum, both local and international, for all available legal relief,” the attorneys said.

They insisted that Tunde Bakare’s comments on the day were calculated to rouse and stoke hatred against the Igbo by a region of the country.

“These were the sort of falsehood sold to other regions of Nigeria as part of the hate campaign that justified and resulted in the mass murder and subsequent pogrom against the Igbo before, during and after the 1967 Nigeria-Biafra civil war that reportedly claimed over 3 million lives of the Igbo,” they decried.

The group said that Bakare's own account of the "1966 military coup and in particular the death of the then Prime Minister of Nigeria; Alhaji Tafawa Balewa is false because you were not present and therefore cannot qualify as a credible witness."

The Igbo Board of Deputies expressed determination to enforce their rights and the issues highlighted resolved within the ambit of both domestic and international laws, “unless and until you have publicly withdrawn your false comments.”


Chuks Egbune/DoP

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