Release Nnamdi Kanu, South-East senators plead


The South East Caucus in the Senate has intervened in the case of the Federal Government against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, urging that the ruling by the Court of Appeal be obeyed. 

The Court of Appeal had last week in Abuja, struck out the terrorism charges filed against the IPOB leader by the government and ordered his release from the custody of the State Security Service.

The court upheld that Kanu was “extraordinarily renditioned” to Nigeria and that the action was a flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and also a breach of Kanu’s fundamental human rights.

Controversies emerged after the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, stated that the Court of Appeal only discharged and did not acquit Kanu. 

He said, “Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predate rendition on the basis of which Kanu jumped bail remain valid issues for judicial determination. The Federal Government will consider all available options open to us on judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues.”

However, a statement co-signed by 14 South-East Senators on Thursday, advised the federal government against appealing the ruling at the Supreme Court but rather asked the Presidency to utilise the opportunity presented by the Appeal Court ruling and consider a political solution to solve the lingering problem in the interest of the country’s unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians. 

The statement was signed by; Senators Orji Kalu (Majority Whip), Chukwuka Utazi (Minority Whip), Enyinnaya Abaribe, Uche Ekwunife, Stella Oduah, Sam Egwu, Obinna Ogba, Theodore Orji, Chimaroke Nnamani, Micheal Nnachi, Onyewuchi Ezenwa, Rochas Okorocha, Frank Ibezim and Ifeanyi Uba.

The senators said that not honouring the ruling by the Appeal Court would ignite varied interpretations, which to all intents is injurious to the unity and corporate existence of the country.

The statement said, “We should be mindful of our diversity and the strengths we as a country derive therefrom. This is the time to show magnanimity and statesmanship. The Appeal Court has provided the leeway for the authorities to walk the talk as ones desirous of preserving Nigeria’s unity and respect for her diversity.

“Not appealing the matter and resorting to a political solution will in no way question the enormous powers of the federal government, rather it would enhance its prestige as a government in love with all segments of the Nigerian society.

“Accordingly, we as a Caucus and stakeholders in the Nigeria project appeal to Mr President, to remember the promise he made to a delegation of elders of Igboland sometime ago and release Nnamdi Kanu, especially now that the Appeal Court by that ruling removed the burden of interference from him. Going on Appeal would ultimately negate that kind gesture. ”

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