S’Court decision to try Kanu for terrorism unfortunate – Ohanaeze, Abaribe, IPOB

The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra; the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; and a former Senate Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, have described as unfortunate the non-release of the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

This was as the Supreme Court on Friday set aside a judgment by the lower court that dismissed the terrorism charges against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

The apex court held that the court of appeal was wrong and that the trial court couldn’t try him because the prosecution violated his rights.

In the judgment prepared by Justice Garba Mohammed, the court condemned the invasion of Kanu’s residence, declaring it irresponsible.

The court held that there is no law in the country stopping a trial based on the violation of the rights of a suspect.

Mohammed said, “If the police should destroy the house of a suspect to obtain exhibits, should that prevent the court from entertaining the offense?

“His remedy should be the way of civil proceeding. Proceedings can’t be stopped on account of the violation of the rights of the suspects; that is not our law for now.

“We decided not to go with the court of appeal. Though we condemned the violation of his rights, Nigeria must redeem its image and adhere to the rule of law. If a person has been granted bail, why did you invade his house? That is irresponsible. You shouldn’t blame him for running.

“No legislation in the country stripped the trial court of the jurisdiction to go ahead with Kanu’s case, despite the illegal action of the FG.

“The law must take its course. The Court of Appeal was wrong that the trial court couldn’t try him. The appeal is allowed, and the cross-appeal is dismissed.”

Reacting, IPOB, through its spokesman, Emma Powerful, in a terse statement on Friday, described Kanu’s continuous detention as ‘unconstitutional’, saying that self-determination is legal as supported by the United Nations laws and by the Africa Union Charter.

Powerful, also commended the Anambra and Enugu state governors, Prof Chukwuma Soludo and Dr Peter Mba, respectively, on their call for the unconditional release of the pro-Biafran leader.

A former Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, also commenting on the judgment in a statement on Friday, issued what it termed ‘a heartfelt appeal’ to Biafra agitators.

He also added that Kanu’s release was sacrosanct and called for a return to non-violent means of agitation.

“We acknowledge the concerns raised by Biafra agitators regarding the alleged actions of Southeast Governors. While we have not personally met with the governors, we implore them to openly deny these allegations and engage in constructive dialogue towards finding a common ground,” he noted.

Also commenting, Abaribe who described the judgment as an ‘unfortunate outcome’ called for calm over the non-release of Kanu.

Part of his statement read, “I’m of the firm belief that this current Federal Government will do something very fast to release Nnamdi Kanu, if for no other reason, but for national cohesion and unity of the country.

“As leaders, we shall continue to press for a solution that will be the best in the circumstance.”

Kanu was first arrested in 2015 under the administration of former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

He was subsequently granted bail in April 2017 and fled the country after an invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, by the Nigerian military in September 2017.

Kanu was re-arrested in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria in June 2021.

He was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Abuja on four charges including treasonable felony, conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, illegal importation of radio equipment, and defamation of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The charges were later withdrawn by the former Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, who replaced them with a fresh 14-count charge bordering on terrorism and membership in a proscribed group, among others.

(Punch)

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Two S’East govs, senators working against Nnamdi Kanu’s release – Ohanaeze

The apex Igbo sociopolitical organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has alleged that two Southeast governors, senators, and Igbo leaders are working against the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

Ohanaeze alleged that those identified want Kanu transferred to Kuje Prisons instead of being released due to the upcoming Anambra governorship elections.

The apex Igbo sociopolitical organisation threatened to expose the identities of these individuals and groups if they continued their nefarious activities that impeded Kanu’s release on December 15, 2023.

The factional Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said among these groups are some leaders of Biafra agitators who have resorted to criminalising the Biafra struggle through hysteria and violence, seeking quick fame and fortunes.

A statement by Isiguzoro reads partly: “Additionally, political elites, including two Southeast governors, senators, and Igbo leaders, are working behind the scenes to ensure that Nnamdi Kanu is only transferred to Kuje Prison instead of being released outright, citing the upcoming Anambra gubernatorial elections.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo passionately calls on President Tinubu to release Nnamdi Kanu by dropping all charges against him and allowing him to immediately return to the United Kingdom after his release.”

(Daily Post)

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Nnamdi Kanu’s release will weaken Simon Ekpa, Peter Obi’s popularity – Ohanaeze

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo socio-cultural organisation has said the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), will weaken the popularity of self-acclaimed Biafra agitator Simon Ekpa and the Labour Party’s presidential candidate Peter Obi.

Ohanaeze said Kanu’s release will consign Ekpa’s activities in the Southeast to the “annals of history.”

A statement by the factional Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, Isiguzoro Okechukwu, said the release of Kanu would have significant implications for the political landscape in the Southeast.

The statement reads: “It has come to our attention that certain mischievous Igbo political elites and deviant opportunists are attempting to take undue credit for Nnamdi Kanu’s potential release.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo urges President Tinubu not to entertain any visits or demands from these individuals, as the credit for Kanu’s release should solely be attributed to him.

“We emphasise that the effects of Nnamdi Kanu’s release will gradually diminish the rising popularity of both Peter Obi and Simon Ekpa in the Southeast.

“Additionally, from a security perspective, Ekpa’s disruptive activities and terrorist tendencies in the Southeast will be consigned to the annals of history.”

Ohanaeze urges President Bola Tinubu to remain resolute in his decision-making process regarding Kanu’s release.

“We assure him that the Igbo nation stands behind him, and we trust that he will handle this matter with utmost care and consideration,” he added.

(Daily Post)

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Use Nigeria-Finland diplomatic ties to arrest Ekpa, Ohanaeze tells FG

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has called on the Federal Government to take advantage of Nigeria’s diplomatic ties with Finland to get Biafran agitator, Simon Ekpa, whom the military has accused of fuelling the insecurity in the South-East.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, had on Tuesday accused the Finland-based   Ekpa of sabotaging the activities of security agents in the South-East.

Musa, who spoke when he led the service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police to appear before the House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday, had declared that “Simon Ekpa is sabotaging our efforts in the South-East,” adding that the agitator was taking shield in faraway Finland.

He urged the Federal Government to engage the Finnish government and possibly invite its ambassador to Nigeria over the activities of the agitator.

Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, the  Secretary General of Ohanaeze, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, said Ohanaeze welcomed Musa’s proposition.

Emuchay said, “This morning, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and myself, we have discussed it, and then as you know,  everybody, all the stakeholders in the South East, the governors, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the leadership of Ohanaeze, everybody is concerned about the security situation in the South-East.

“So, the statement yesterday at the hearing of the House of Representatives tells the story as to what we have been saying all along. It is a matter for the Federal Government of Nigeria to handle, as Ohanaeze or the states in the South-East are subordinate to the Federal Government.

“The Federal Government has a diplomatic relationship with Finland, they (Finland) have an embassy in Abuja, and that diplomatic channel is what Ohanaeze is asking to be activated. Ohanaeze is very pleased that the Chief of Defence Staff made a public pronouncement  on the matter of Simon Ekpa and we are happy with it.”

The Ohanaeze leader added that the organisation was not relenting in the effort to secure the release of the incarcerated leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

Emuchay said, “Ohanaeze will not be deterred in calling for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“Ohanaeze and the South-East governors are on the same page on the matter of Nnamdi Kanu. I am not in a position now to say more but Ohanaeze with the South-East governors, the stakeholders in the South-East, the leadership of Ohanaeze, we are all on the same page on the release of Nnamdi Kanu.”

(Punch)

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Ceasefire for 40 days, we’re working to release Nnamdi Kanu – Ohanaeze to Biafra agitators

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has urged Biafra agitators to uphold a 40-day ceasefire.

Ohanaeze said the ceasefire is aimed at securing the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The Factional Secretary General of Ohanaeze, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said the ceasefire should start from October 31.

In a statement he signed, Isiguzoro said there are ongoing talks behind the scenes on the possibility of Kanu’s release.

According to Isiguzoro: “To facilitate progress in this matter, Ohanaeze Ndigbo urges Biafra agitators to uphold a ceasefire for a period of 40 days, refraining from any offensive aggression starting from October 31, 2023.

“Maintaining discipline among the Biafra agitators is crucial to ensuring the cessation of all offensive acts for the designated 40-day period.

“By doing so, the ongoing conversations behind the scenes will have the necessary environment to provide the desired solutions for the release of Nnamdi Kanu. Ohanaeze Ndigbo reminds Ndigbo of our Igbo idiom, “Every soup has a peculiar way of licking it,” emphasising the importance of engaging with relevant authorities through diplomatic channels as the most effective means of achieving the desired results.

“We implore Ndigbo to exercise patience during this challenging time. We acknowledge the pain and hardships endured by the people of the Southeast since the incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu.

“As custodians of our land, we assure ourselves and our people that positive outcomes are anticipated following the November 2023 Imo State Governorship elections. The release of Nnamdi Kanu will be a surprise package for the Southeast.”

The body also appealed to Nigerians Kanu might have offended to extend forgiveness and allow the greater interests of Nigeria to prevail.

“The restoration of peace and security in the Southeast is of utmost importance and requires the collective involvement of all stakeholders.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo remains committed to working behind the scenes, galvanising all relevant parties to achieve this essential objective,” he added.

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I’ve been cleared by court, I won’t beg for freedom – Nnamdi Kanu

Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has told the Federal Government that he will not beg for his release after being cleared by Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

This was contained in a letter dated August 25, 2023, and signed by Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN. The letter was made available to our correspondent late night on August 28, 2023.

Ozekhome had raised concern over the deplorable condition of Kanu’s detention facility in the custody of the Department of State Services.

The lawyer requested that the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory should appoint a Magistrate to inspect the detention centre.

According to Kanu, begging for his freedom at this point will be an insult to the memory of the late Pa Mbazulike Amechi, who despite his age and ill health, repeatedly travelled from the South-East to Abuja, pleading with the Federal Government to honour his dying wish, which was treated with the greatest disdain and was also not honoured.

These were the high points of the discussion during the meeting between the IPOB leader and his lawyers and family, according to a statement issued by Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor titled, “Update on our routine visit to our indefatigable client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, at the Headquarters of the State Security Services, Abuja, where he is still being illegally and unconstitutionally detained in solitary confinement.”

Ejiofor said, “Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu used the opportunity offered by the visit to extend his heartfelt gratitude to all people of good conscience and groups calling for his release. He however, observed that many people may not have understood the peculiarity of his case, but proceeded to urge us to clarify that he has been effectively and validly discharged by the judgment of the Court of Appeal, delivered October 13 2022, which said judgment also prohibited his further trial and detention. Therefore, there is no charge pending against Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before any court as of today.

“Furthermore, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unequivocally stated that begging the Federal Government to release him at this point is an insult to the memory of late Pa Mbazulike Amaechi, who despite his age and ill health, repeatedly travelled from the South-East to Abuja, begging the Federal Government of Nigeria, to honour his dying wish, which request was treated with greatest disdain by the Federal Government, and was also not honoured.

“Thus, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is of the firm view that he does not need to beg the FGN to release him. The Court of Appeal has already made a pronouncement in that regard and that pronouncement has remained sacrosanct till date.

“Therefore, the call every person of goodwill should make in the circumstance of his continued illegal detention, is for the Supreme Court to set down a date for the expeditious hearing of the appeal filed by the Federal Government, as provided for in the Criminal Appeals Practice Directions of the Supreme Court.

“We visited our indefatigable Client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, today, the 28th day of August 2023, to brief him on the various intervening actions taken by the legal team ably led by Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, to address pertinent concerns affecting his welfare and failure of the SSS to avail him of his medical records.

“To this end, an application has been made to the Honourable Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory by our erudite Lead Counsel – Prof. Mike Ozekhome SAN, to appoint a Magistrate that will visit and inspect the SSS facility/cell where Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been held in solitary confinement since June 2021 till date, in pursuance to the relevant provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

“Following the SSS refusal to avail Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu with his medical records, as directed by Hon. Justice Binta Nyako, in the judgment delivered on July 20 2023, our erudite lead counsel, Prof. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, was compelled by this brazen disregard to an order of Court by the SSS, to initiate a contempt proceeding against the State Security Service and her Director General, for this gross violation of positive Orders of Court.”

(Punch)

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