South-East Leaders Intensify Efforts to Secure Release of Nnamdi Kanu Amid Treason Charges

South-East Leaders Intensify Efforts to Secure Release of Nnamdi Kanu Amid Treason Charges

Jul, 4 2024

South-East Leaders Intensify Efforts to Secure Release of Nnamdi Kanu Amid Treason Charges

High-ranking leaders and lawmakers from Nigeria's South-East region are working tirelessly to secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Kanu has been held by the Federal Government of Nigeria on charges of treasonable felony, a situation that has escalated tensions in the South-East. This move to free Kanu comes amid mounting political pressure and growing calls from both political and traditional leaders.

In a comprehensive letter directed to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, the South-East leaders highlighted the powers granted to the AGF by Section 174 (1) (c) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 107 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015. They pointed out precedents where the AGF had previously discontinued treasonable felony charges, such as against Omoyele Sowore, and terrorism charges against Bello Badejo, the President of Myetti Allah. These examples are pivotal in their argument for Kanu's release.

South-East House of Representatives' Involvement

The South-East caucus in the House of Representatives, encompassing 43 lawmakers from Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Imo, and Ebonyi States, has also added their voices to the call for Kanu's release. They have urged the President to consider this move as a way to restore peace and stability in the region. The lawmakers emphasized that the release would serve as a gesture of goodwill and could pave the way for political solutions to the ongoing unrest.

Senate members from the region, spearheaded by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, held meetings with the AGF where they advocated for a political rather than a legal resolution to Kanu's detention. This political route, they argue, would help in calming the frayed nerves in the South-East, which have been on edge since Kanu's arrest.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Kanu's Legal Team Push for Settlement

Additionally, the influential socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has thrown its weight behind Kanu's release. The group endorsed Kanu's proposal for an out-of-court settlement, underscoring that such a resolution would be crucial in quelling the rising tension in the region. Kanu's lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, has officially requested this type of settlement, citing the AGF's authority to grant it.

Justice Binta Nyako, who is presiding over Kanu's case, has suggested that Kanu pursue an out-of-court settlement by formally approaching the AGF. The case has been adjourned until September 24 for further hearing, giving all parties involved time to possibly reach an agreement.

The Role of the South-East Governors' Forum

Parallel to these legal and political maneuvers, the South-East Governors' Forum resolved to pay a visit to President Bola Tinubu to discuss Kanu's release. The involvement of the governors underlines the widespread importance and urgency of the matter among South-East leaders. Their collective efforts signify a unified front in their plea for a peaceful resolution.

Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has clarified that while he engaged in dialogue with South-East governors, the topic of Kanu's release was not a point of discussion. This clarification puts to rest any misconceptions or false narratives that might have arisen regarding Obasanjo's stance or involvement in the issue.

A Unified Call for Peace and Stability

The concerted effort to secure Kanu's release reflects a broader desire among South-East leaders for peace and stability within their region. The continued detention of Kanu has been a flashpoint for protests and unrest, unsettling the socio-political landscape of the South-East. By advocating for his release, these leaders hope to address the underlying issues stirring discontent and to promote dialogue and reconciliation.

As the September 24 court hearing approaches, all eyes will be on the AGF and the federal government to see how they respond to these extensive calls for Kanu's release. The outcome could significantly impact not only the South-East but also the nation at large, as it grapples with multiple socio-political challenges.

Undoubtedly, the situation continues to develop, and it remains a critical story to follow in the coming weeks. The fervent drive by South-East leaders to secure Kanu's release underscores a collective desire for peace, political resolution, and the stabilization of their region.