Nnamdi Kanu: FG’s stance on appeal court verdict needless, says Edwin Clark

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Elder statesman and Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark has asked the federal government to obey the verdict of the appeal court regarding Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

On October 13, the court of appeal sitting in Abuja had struck out the terrorism charge filed against Kanu.

Giving the judgment, the three-member panel of the appeal court held that Kanu’s extradition from Kenya to Nigeria to stand trial was illegal.

However, following the development, Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), had said the federal government would explore “all available options” to determine the terrorism charge it preferred against the IPOB leader.

The national security council, at a recent meeting, had also backed the decision of the federal government.

Reacting to the development in a statement issued on Monday, Clark said the federal government “went too far” by extraditing Kanu from Kenya.

Edwin Clark
Edwin Clark

He, however, added that the government should obey the court and release the IPOB leader in the interest of fostering peaceful relations in the south-east.

“I consider this stance of the Federal Government as rather imperious and needless. I, therefore, earnestly call on President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the judgement of the Court of Appeal and order the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu in the interest of peace in the country, the South East Zone, in particular,” the statement reads.

“Most Nigerians greeted the judgement of the Court of Appeal with elation, mainly in the South East, where there were reports of widespread jubilations across cities in the Zone.

“It would, therefore, be detrimental for the federal government to still keep Kanu in detention and provide any pretext for malefactors to continue to take advantage of the situation in perpetrating all sorts of atrocities in the zone.

“Even though certain activities of Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB followers have been a nuisance and very disturbing, the Federal Government went too far in going all the way to Kenya to abduct him on the ground that he jumped bail.

“I remember, and it is well known, that when the leaders, elders and Traditional Rulers of the South East pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari during a meeting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, to release Kanu and other pro-Biafra agitators in detention, the President responded that Nnamdi Kanu’s fate will be decided by the Court.

“And even when they (Igbo leaders) visited him at Aso Rock, the President again said the matter was no longer in his hand and the security agencies, but in the hand of the Judiciary and that whatever the Court decides would be final.

“Now that the Court of Appeal has given its judgement on the matter, I am imploring the President to obey the judgement of the Court and release the young man, and allow peace to reign.

“At this time, when insecurity is the order of the day, anything that would enhance the peace and stability of the country must be embraced.”

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