President Muhammadu Buhari can release Nnamdi Kanu without the Judiciary
Aloy Ejimakor, Special Counsel for detained Indigenous People of Biafra leader Nnamdi Kanu, has stated that his client’s release is in the hands of President Muhammadu Buhari’s executive arm of government.
Ejes Gist News previously reported that some respected Igbo elders, led by the First Republic’s Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, had visited Buhari in Aso Rock in Abuja and requested Kanu’s unconditional release.
“You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as the leader of this country,” Buhari responded. Your request has very serious implications. Nobody would say that in the six years since I became President, I have confronted or interfered with the work of the judiciary.
“When Kanu skipped bail, was arrested, and returned to Nigeria, I told him the best thing he could do was submit to the system.” Allow him to present his case in court rather than portraying the country in a negative light from the outside. I’ll think about your request, but it’s a big one.”
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However, Ejimakor stated that, contrary to the President’s statement on Friday, the IPOB leader’s release is not in the hands of the judiciary.
He cited Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, stating that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has the authority to halt any criminal proceedings initiated by him before judgement is rendered at any time.
“Section 174 of the Constitution says: The Attorney General of the Federation shall have the power to discontinue any criminal proceedings instituted by him,” the lawyer wrote in a tweet.
“The Executive, not the Judiciary, is responsible for Nnamdi Kanu’s unconditional release.”
Kanu, 54, was born in Afaraukwu, Abia State, on September 25, 1967. He was arrested in 2017 for calling for the South-East zone of Nigeria to secede from the Nigerian state.
However, he skipped bail in June 2018 before fleeing to the United Kingdom, claiming that his life was no longer safe in Nigeria.
Malami announced on June 29, 2021, at a press conference in Abuja, that the IPOB leader had been re-arrested in a foreign country and extradited to Nigeria.
According to Ejimakor, the IPOB leader was re-arrested in Kenya and flown to Nigeria.
He was re-arrested and extradited in June 2021, and re-arrested and extradited before Justice Binta Nyako on terrorism-related charges brought by the AGF office. Kanu has been remanded in the Department of State Services’ custody in Abuja since then.
The trial of Kanu had been adjourned by Justice Nyako to October 21, 2021, for the continuation of hearings, but it was rescheduled to November 10, 2021. The case was rescheduled for trial on January 19 and 20, 2022.