The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has said the legal team formed by the umbrella group for Igbo people, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to monitor proceedings of the trial of leader of the prescribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was not necessary.
He, however, welcomed the Ohanaeze team, saying it was in line with the doctrine of the right of fair hearing rooted in Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
Recall that the separatist leader was arrested in June 2021 outside the country.
Kanu is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him at the court in response to years of campaign for the independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.
He had been granted bail in April 2017 but jumped bail.
After his re-arrest in June 2021, he was arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako, of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Ohanaeze on Monday said it had formed a legal team to monitor the proceedings to ensure that Kanu was given a fair trial.
However, in a statement by Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu, the AGF welcomed the formation of the legal team but said it was unnecessary.
The statement reads, “The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has welcomed the formation of legal team by Ohanaeze Ndigbo to monitor the proceedings at the trial of the self-acclaimed IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, which is in line with the doctrine of the right of fair hearing rooted in Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Inherent in the position of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo on the matter was the demonstration of their recognition of belonging to Nigeria and succumbing to the rule of law while maintaining their stance that they were not averse to the trial of Nnamdi Kanu.
“In a similar vein, the group showed a mature departure from the mindset of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra when Ohanaeze said they ‘do not support the use of any form of violence’ while channelling concerns and presenting demands.
“By urging the youths to be law-abiding and sheath their sword as well as asking them to try to obtain voter’s card to enable them contribute to national development, the position of Ohanaeze becomes glaringly constitutional and commendable.
“Let it be made abundantly clear that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government respects the rule of law and does not advocate for the breach of law. Hence, with or without the so-called monitoring group, justice will be adequately served to Nnamdi Kanu in compliances with the enshrined provisions of the law.
“It is hoped that the unnecessary legal monitoring group will come with open-mind and guided by nothing but the rule of law in the process so as to convey the judgment of the court as may eventually be delivered to their people in various languages and dialects of the members of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo communities and the entire Nigerians.”