Udora Orizu writes that following the Court of Appeal ruling discharging the chief of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, of terrorism fees, South-east lawmakers on the National Assembly have referred to as on President Muhammadu Buhari to launch him as proof of statesmanship
The South-east Caucus of the House of Representatives final week, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to indicate statesmanship and fatherly introspection by guaranteeing the discharge of the chief of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, from detention.
The federal lawmakers’ attraction got here on the heels of the unanimous determination of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which discharged the IPOB chief of the terrorism fees introduced in opposition to him by the federal authorities.
The killing of the folks of the previous Eastern Region inside the Nigerian Federation had led the then army governor of the area, Lt. Colonel Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, to declare the Republic of Biafra in May 1967. The declaration led to a 30-month civil battle, which led to January 1970 with the Eastern Region returning to Nigeria.
However, secessionist agitation has since resurfaced within the South-east, championed by Kanu by his Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
In 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari outlawed IPOB and declared that the actions of the group constituted an act of terrorism. Kanu was earlier arrested and detained however was later launched from the Kuje Prison in Abuja after assembly bail circumstances. The IPOB chief later fled the nation following the invasion of his nation residence by troopers. He operated from abroad till he was bundled again to Nigeria from Kenya in June 2021 by the federal authorities, in contravention of native and worldwide legal guidelines and conventions.
Since then, he has been battling in court docket with the federal authorities. He ultimately bought victory a fortnight in the past, when the Court of Appeal in Abuja struck out the terrorism fees filed in opposition to him by the federal authorities.
It adopted an earlier ruling of the trial choose, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, in April dismissing eight of the 15 amended counts filed in opposition to him by the federal authorities.
The court docket struck out all of the remaining seven fees in opposition to Kanu. It additionally discharged the embattled chief of IPOB, declaring as unlawful and illegal his abduction from Kenya to Nigeria on July 9, 2021. It quashed your entire terrorism fees introduced in opposition to him.
The appellate court docket held that the federal authorities breached all recognized native and worldwide legal guidelines within the forceful rendition of Kanu to Nigeria, thereby making the terrorism fees in opposition to him incompetent and illegal.
The Appeal Court in a judgment by Justice Oludotun Adebola ordered Kanu’s launch from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), the place the IPOB chief has been held since he was introduced again to Nigeria.
Following the court docket ruling, there have been calls from South-east leaders, urging the federal government to right away obey court docket order and launch Kanu.
But the federal authorities reactions indicated that it isn’t but able to launch Kanu. First, the federal authorities by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, mentioned it was nonetheless reviewing the court docket’s determination earlier than taking a place on it. Second, the National Security Council mentioned it aligned with the place of the AGF.
Malami insisted that the IPOB chief was solely discharged and never acquitted by the Court.
But reacting to the delay in Kanu’s launch, all of the South-east lawmakers within the House of Representatives, throughout social gathering strains, referred to as on President Buhari to win peace, present statesmanship by instantly obeying the court docket order.
In an announcement collectively signed by the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu); Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (APC, Abia); House Spokesman, Hon. Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia); and all others, the lawmakers urged Buhari to obey the ruling of Court of Appeal, which discharged the IPOB chief of the terrorism fees introduced in opposition to him.
The lawmakers famous that the nation is presently contending with terrorism within the North-east; killing of farmers by herders and banditry within the North-central; abductions and armed assaults within the South-west; restiveness and assaults by unknown gunmen within the South-east, and abductions, cult wars, vandalism of oil installations and oil theft within the South-south area.
According to them, the mixed impact of all these has plunged the nation into untold socio-economic malaise.
The caucus lamented that for the South-east, the enforcement of sit-at-home by faceless gunmen on account of Kanu’s incarceration even lengthy after IPOB revoked and washed its arms off it, has led to wanton lack of human lives, disruption of academic and social actions, and grave financial penalties on the area.
Consequently, the lawmakers famous that the choice of the Court of Appeal is a window of alternative that ought to be exploited to unravel the Kanu query, discover lasting peace and normalcy within the South -east area, and stimulate nationwide unity, therapeutic, and solidarity.
The assertion learn: “The actuality is that the nation can not take pleasure in natural peace as long as any half thereof is troubled. Global experiences and our realities as a nation inform us that heady instances like this require not solely kinetic choices, but additionally non-kinetic approaches if we should restore and construct a peaceable and safe nation the place socio-economic and political actions can thrive unhindered. We imagine that it’s all the time higher to jaw-jaw than to war-war. This underscores the choice of the South-east Caucus of the National Assembly after its extraordinary assembly on September 15, 2021 to advocate political answer to the Mazi Nnamdi Kanu matter.
“In the communiqué signed by the Leader of the South-east Caucus of the National Assembly and former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and other leaders, we underscored the need for constructive interface with relevant stakeholders, the Federal Government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution. The decision resonated with other key stakeholders and groups in the South East, including the First Republic minister, Chief Mbazuluike Amechi, who led some Igbo leaders to Aso Rock to solicit the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. We recall that on that occasion, President Muhammadu Buhari maintained that his government was committed to non-interference with judicial process, hence he matter should be allowed to run its full judicial course. Times like this call for statesmanship. This is therefore a special appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to take a fatherly introspection on this issue and toe the path of negotiated solution with guarantees on both sides; and we trust that Mr. President will not allow this veritable opportunity to win peace and write his name in gold pass by.”
Will Buhari heed this attraction? Events of the following few weeks will reveal.