Page Nav


hide author name





Nigeria: Release Nnamdi Kanu Now To End Insecurity, Begin A Genuine Conversation - Governor Says

  MARCH 07 , 2023 | EASTERN PILOT Report By: Editorial Report | Sir: Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, has made th...



Report By: Editorial Report |

Sir: Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, has made the case for the release from custody of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as a crucial means of stemming the pervasive insecurity of the Southeast geo-political zone. Soludo has stressed that if the IPOB leader cannot be released unconditionally and immediately, he (Soludo) would want the government to release Kanu to him personally as surety. Recall that The federal government, in another instance, disobeyed the orders of the Federal High Court in Abuja on the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu’s bail and access by his legal team and family members.

Justice Binta Nyako had to question the Department of State Security, DSS on such disregard at a time, yet the situation remained the same. The Federal High Court in Abuja also granted Kanu, the permission to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the Department of State Service to allow him to have unfettered access to medical care, but on several occasions, access to health care have been refused.

Again The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Thursday, October 13, 2022 quashed the terrorism charge the Federal Government preferred against the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu. It discharged and acquitted him of the seven-count charge pending against him before the Federal High Court in Abuja. The appellate court, in a decision by a three-man panel led by Justice Jummai Hanatu, said it was satisfied that FG flagrantly violated the law, when it forcefully rendered Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial. It held that such extra-ordinary rendition, without adherence to due process of the law, was a gross violation of all international conventions, protocols and guidelines that Nigeria is signatory to, as well as a breach of the Appellant’s fundamental human rights.

The appellate court noted that FG failed to refute the allegation that the IPOB leader was in Kenya and that he was abducted and brought back to the country without any extradition proceeding. It held that FG was “ominously silent on the issue” which it described as very pivotal in determining whether the trial court would still have the jurisdiction to continue with the criminal proceeding before it. “In law, that is a costly failure and such failure is an admittance by the Respondent. “Where a party fails to controvert a deposition by an opponent, the issue not contested is deemed conceded”, the court held, adding that the onus was on FG to prove the legality of the Appellant’s arrest and return from Kenya.

More so, the court noted that Nigeria is a signatory to OAU Convention which it ratified on April 28, 2022, as well as the Charter of Human and Peoples Rights, which it said prescribed how a wanted person could be transferred from one country to the other. It held that any extradition request must be in writing, with a statement indicating offences for which a person is wanted. The appellate court held that FG’s action tainted the entire proceeding it initiated against Kanu and amounted to “an abuse of criminal prosecution in general”. “The court will never shy away from calling the Executive to order when it tilts towards Executive recklessness”, the Appellate court held, even as it accused FG of engaging in “serious abuse of power”.

Till date this court pronouncement was flagrantly ignored with impunity while Nnamdi Kanu continued to be illegally and unconstitutionally detained in a solitary confinement in the Nigeria secret service dungeon in Abuja. There is also A Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital rulling, which ordered the Federal Government to pay the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, N500m as damages following his illegal abduction and human rights abuse. The court also ordered the Federal Government to return him to Kenya, from where he was extraodinary rendition to Nigeria on June 19, 2021. The court presided over by Justice E.N. Anyadike, insisted that the extradition of Kanu from Kenya without recourse to the legal process was a flagrant abuse of his fundamental human rights.

Kanu, through his counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, had approached the court challenging his extraodinary rendition from Kenya on June 19, 2022. Ejimakor told the court that the suit was sui generis (of a special class) and was primarily aimed at redressing the unlawful expulsion or extraordinary rendition of Kanu, which is a clear violation of his fundamental rights under Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution. Speaking to journalists shortly after the verdict, Ejimakor said the judgment showed that the court is still the common man’s last hope.

Meanwhile, Kanu is demanding the payment of N100bn in reparation for the violation of his rights. In a suit filed at the Federal High Court Abuja through his legal team, led by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the IPOB leader wants a declaration that the Federal Government’s refusal to release him from detention despite the order of the Court of Appeal is illegal, unlawful, oppressive, unconscionable, and unconstitutional. The Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of the Federation, the State Security Service and its Director General are cited as 1st to 4th respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1945/2022.

Kanu says the suit is predicated on the refusal of the Federal Government to obey the appellate court’s judgment delivered on October 13, which discharged him of the terrorism charge brought against him and thus a violation of his fundamental rights. Kanu is also seeking N100bn in compensatory and exemplary damages from the respondents for the gross violation of his human rights to dignity, personal liberty, and freedom of movement. In addition, Kanu is praying the court for an order directing the respondents to tender an unreserved public apology in two national dailies.

Soludo who made the appeal at the recent campaign flag-off of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Ekwueme Square, Awka, did not mince words when he said: “We need Nnamdi Kanu on the roundtable conversation to discuss the insecurity in the Southeast. We must end insecurity in the Southeast and we need Nnamdi Kanu to be around. We, some time ago, set up the Truth and Reconciliation Committee to find out the root cause of insecurity in the Southeast and they have almost concluded their assignment. But this issue of insecurity cannot be well addressed without bringing to the table the key players in this matter. We have applied the kinetic and non-kinetic approach to fighting insecurity in the Southeast but the non-kinetic approach cannot be complete without the Federal Government releasing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. I will house him here in Awka. We need him released to end insecurity in the Southeast.”

It needs to be recalled that back in May 2022, Soludo had visited the IPOB leader at his place of incarceration at the State Security Service, Abuja. Sir Paul Nwosu is Anambra State Commissioner for Information. He said: It is incumbent on the Federal Government to follow Soludo’s plea and bring Kanu to the discussion table. No real peace has ever been won through war in the history of mankind. After protracted exchange of fire and the carnage, it has always ended on a roundtable because that’s the only way to evolve an enduring peace and harmonious coexistence. And perhaps, this could well be the beginning of a more genuine conversation on “restructuring” which many pundits agree has been the basis of our disconnect as a nation.


No comments