President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), should prove he respects the judiciary by exploring political solutions to resolve the detention of the embattled leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, stated this in a chat with The PUNCH on Wednesday while reacting to the judgment of a High Court in Abia State which ordered the Federal Government to pay the sum of N1bn to the IPOB leader and issue a letter of apology to him.
The PUNCH had also reported that Kanu approached the court demanding N5bn over the invasion of his father’s house by the military on September 10, 2017.
Justice Benson Anya on Wednesday stated that the Federal Government violated Kanu’s fundamental rights. The judge also recommended political solution to resolve Kanu’s detention and agitation.
Speaking after the court pronouncement, Ejimakor said the President should obey the court’s decision on exploring political solution and prove that he indeed regards the judiciary as he said in an interview on January 5, 2022.
The lawyer said, “I am pleased with the Judgment, especially as it diminished the vested notion that Nnamdi Kanu jumped bail in 2017. The directive by the Judge to the Federal Government to pursue the path of political solution with Kanu is also in good order. Going forward, I see the judgment having significant impact on the Abuja case.
“I have no doubt that the Federal Government will implement the judgment. My confidence comes from the recent pronouncements from the President that he will respect whatever the judiciary decides in the matter of Nnamdi Kanu.”
Buhari had during the interview said, “There is one institution that I wouldn’t interfere with, that is the judiciary, Kanu’s case is with the judiciary but what I wonder is when Kanu was safely in Europe, abusing this administration and mentioning too many things, I thought he wants to come and defend himself on the accusations.
“So, we are giving him an opportunity to defend himself in our system, not to be abusing us from Europe as if he was not a Nigerian. Let him come here with us and then criticise us here. Nigerians know that I don’t interfere with the judiciary, let him be listened to. But those who are saying that he should be released, no, we cannot release him.”
Kanu, 54, was born on September 25, 1967, at Afaraukwu, Abia State.
The secessionist leader is a holder of Nigerian and British passports. He had earlier jumped bail in June 2018 before leaving for the United Kingdom though he said that he fled because his life was no longer safe in Nigeria.
After about three years abroad, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami
(SAN), at a press briefing in Abuja on June 29, 2021, announced that the IPOB leader was re-arrested in a foreign country and extradited to Nigeria.
But one of Kanu’s lawyers, Ejiofor Ifeanyi, had said the IPOB leader was re-arrested in Kenya and whisked to Nigeria.
Upon his re-arrest and extradition in June 2021, he was re-arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako for terrorism-related charges and has since been remanded in the Department of State Services custody in Abuja.
Kanu appeared in court on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to the 15 charges bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism, preferred against him by the Federal Government.
Justice Nyako subsequently adjourned the trial of Kanu till February 16, 2022.