Release Nnamdi Kanu To Stop Sit At Home In South East – Mike Ozekhome SAN to Buhari

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The lead counsel for the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate release of his client through a more productive “political solution”.

This was disclosed in a letter from his chambers to the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, dated October 3.

Ozekhome explained in the letter that Buhari could release Kanu by instructing the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN to wield his powers under section 174 of the 1999 constitution to enter a “nolle prosequi” – a formal notice of discontinuing a case by the prosecutor.

He added that by releasing Kanu, it will halt the present restlessness and sits-at-home mantra currently ravaging the South East and paralysing business and normal life.

He appealed to Buhari to consider the fact that the continued detention of Kanu is under cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions.

Ozekhome cited a number of grounds to convince the president.

He explained that a ruling of the United Nations Working Group in Arbitrary Detention on 4th April, 2022 indicted both the Nigerian and Kenyan Governments for Kanu’s arrest and alleged extraordinary rendition, torture and continued detention.

He stated that the UN council urged the federal government to ensure “immediate release (of) Kanu unconditionally. It is also ordered that he be paid adequate compensation for the arbitrary violation of his fundamental human rights.”

He urged Buhari to painstakingly observe that the UN Council had agreed that the federal government failed to disprove that Kanu was not a victim of political persecution.

The letter partly reads ” Your excellency, I am not aware of any state which has defied or disobeyed such a directive without paying a national heavy price. Nigeria should not be the first member of that Hall of Infamy reserved only for pariah nations. The situation is however not irredeemable, as your Excellency can yet redeem it; and write your name in gold by ordering the immediate and unconstitutional release of Nnamdi Kanu from his present excruciating detention as ordered by the United Nations through its Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.”

Recall that Kanu was arrested by security operatives on 14th October 2015 on 11 count charges weaved around treasonable felony, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods.

But he was granted bail on health grounds by Justice Binta Nyako at the time.

On September 2017, the armed forces invaded his home country in Abia but fled and eventually left the country.

His bail was eventually revoked by the trial court following his non-appearance during proceedings.

In June 2021, the IPOB leader was arrested by the secret police and extradited to Nigeria.

Announcing his arrest at the time, Malami had said “Recent steps taken by the Federal Government saw to the interception of the fugitive Kanu on Sunday the 27th day of June 2021.”

Kanu has been in the detention facility of the Department of State Services, DSS, since then and a number of his bail application and review of bail orders was struck out by the Federal High Court, Abuja.

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