Slow trial of Kanu irks Igbo lawyers

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Igbo Lawyers Association (ILA) has expressed disappointment over the continued detention and incarceration of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, by the Nigerian government.

It said the continued detention of the IPOB leader, instead of releasing or putting him to trial, and dispensing with the case, was an act of political punishment than a legal trial.

Chairman of ILA and former National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Chuks Muoma (SAN), told Sunday Sun that the case could be dispensed with within seven days, if the aim of Kanu abductors was to put him on trial for committing a crime against Nigeria.

“Kanu’s predicament is more political than legal. Until it is resolved, there may not be a solution to the problem.

“I see an attempt by the prosecution to perpetuate proceedings inconclusively, as a vendetta against him and his group,” he said.

He commended the IPOB leader’s legal team for doing well in contending with the tricks being exhibited by the prosecution, but lamented that the matter ought to have been dispensed of, had it been followed legally as matters of similar criminal nature would.

He added: “I see them continuing to incarcerate and intimidate him in order to maintain their vindictive political interests to either release or convict him.”

Expressing the fear that he might be in detention until a new administration takes over power on May 29 next year, Muoma, said there would be disaster should Kanu get annihilated while in custody, noting that no bandit, kidnapper or those involved in terrorists activities across the country had been subjected to the sufferings being endured by the IPOB leader.

“Kanu is suffering because he is Igbo. No bandit, kidnapper or those engaging in terrorism in Nigeria has been subjected to what he is undergoing now.

“What is his crime?” Asked what happens should Nigeria fail to honour the United Nations Human Rights body’s directive that Kanu be unconditionally released and compensated, the ILA leader, said Buhari’s administration was leading Nigeria to become a pariah state if it fails to adhere to the UN directive.

“Buhari’s administration is not likely to release Kanu. I hope he stays alive and not liquidate in detention.”

Muoma further spoke on the forthcoming general elections in the country and called on Ndigbo at home and in the Diaspora, to continue to be vigilant, while going about their engagements in business, commerce and industry, so that, “even if we continue to suffer and be marginalised, we will remain prosperous, commercially, industrially and financially.

“Let us continue to prosper in industry, commerce, education, and finance. They will look for us.”

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