South-East Leaders, Bishops Demand Nnamdi Kanu’s ‘Immediate’ Release

Two Igbo groups, the South-East Council of Traditional Rulers, and Igbo Archbishops & Bishops on Peace and Conflict Resolution, have demanded the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The Chairman of the traditional rulers’ council, Nnaemeka Achebe, who is the Obi of Onitsha, disclosed this in a statement in which he jointly issued on Tuesday with a representative of the bishops, Chibuzo Opoko.

Lawrence Agubuzu and Valerian Okeke, other representatives from the council and the bishops respectively, also signed the statement.

Mr Agubuzu is the Chairman of the Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council while Mr Okeke is the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha.

The groups stressed they have consistently “undertaken extensive and behind-the-scenes consultations” for peace in the South-east and resolution of insecurity in the region based on “justice, equity, fairness, love, mutual understanding and respect” of all persons.

“In furtherance of this, we have also supported the call for the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the federal government to douse the current tension across the South-east and create an atmosphere for collaboration towards a constructive resolution of the issues,” the groups said.

The demand comes less than one week after the Court of Appeal in Abuja, struck out the terrorism charges filed against Mr Kanu by the government and ordered his release from the custody of the State Security Service (SSS).

The court, in the ruling lastThursday, held that the IPOB leader was “extra-ordinarily renditioned” to Nigeria and that the action was a flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and also a breach of Mr Kanu’s fundamental human rights.

The Nigerian government has, in their first response, argued that the Court of Appeal only discharged Mr Kanu, and did not acquit him.

The country’s Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, in a statement, late Thursday, by his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, hinted that the government would not release Mr Kanu, despite the court ruling.

Mr Malami said the government is reviewing its legal options and could institute other charges against the IPOB leader.

He said that the decision of the Court of Appeal “was on a single issue that borders on rendition.”

But the South-east leaders and bishops hailed the judgement, explaining that their call for the immediate release of the IPOB leader was in line with the court judgement.

“We welcome this judgment and assert that the wisdom of the appellate court presents a timely and an unprecedented opportunity to overcome the challenge of trust that has obstructed the path to peace, and opens the window to winning the hearts and minds of the people,” the groups added.

IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent republic, Biafra, which it wants to be carved out from the South-east and some parts of South-south Nigeria.

-Premium Times

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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