By Nnamdi Ojiego
Contrary to the Federal Government’s claim that the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, would raise security concerns, the Global Igbo Alliance, GIA, has argued that Kanu’s release would restore peace and security in all corners of the eastern region of the country.
A statement signed by the group’s president and secretary, Dr. Christian Duru and Mrs. Chinwe Eboh respectively, called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to unconditionally release the IPOB leader, as it would fruitfully douse the tension in the region and fulfil the legitimate expectations of Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora.
The group noted that having monitored with keen interest, the trial of Kanu since he was abducted from Kenya, it was most appalling that despite the two recent decisive judgments by the courts in favour of the IPOB leader’s defence and freedom, he remained in detention unlawfully.
It described as a cheap and fabricated ruse, the government’s claim that Kanu could not be released because of security concerns; a development the group insisted runs contrary to the civilized norms by law-and-order nations and called on local and international bodies, human rights commissions, diplomatic representatives, and all relevant agencies to prevail on the Nigerian government to release Kanu unconditionally.
The GIA called attention to the recent ruling of the Federal High Court in Abia State in favour of Kanu, stressing that even before the ruling, the Court of Appeal, not only ruled in Kanu’s favour but also, acquitted him of all the charges.
“According to the judgments, Kanu ought to have been released before any further legal steps are taken. The overall response of the Office of the Attorney General, and relevant Nigerian government agencies to Kanu’s victories is a calculated perversion of justice and total disregard for the rule of law, and humanity.
“We call on the Federal Government to live up to its constitutional obligation/mandate by showing the people of the east that they are equally protected under the same law that applies to all other citizens of Nigeria. The immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Kanu will provide the opportunity for the optimum resolution that will promote peace and stability in the region. This resolution will contain the increasing tension in the East and bring an end to the current insecurity problems facing the region,” part of the statement read.
The statement further reads: “Therefore, President Buhari must acknowledge the negative social, economic, and political impact of the continuous detention of Kanu on the people.
“The Igbo have suffered direct and systemic marginalisation for so long, and the outright disobedience of court orders as displayed by the government concerning Kanu’s judicial victories is further evidence of the bigoted injustice being visited on the people, especially when compared to the FG’s ever willingness not only to grant amnesty to Boko Haram terrorists and bandits but to integrate them into the Nigerian army and other security outfits.
“We enjoin the Federal Government to direct its Attorney General to release Kanu. The Buhari-led government should consider the abiding faith of the Igbo in the peace and stability of the nation against the seemingly punitive and vindictive actions of his government.
“As the most populous nation of all peoples of African descent, Nigeria is duty-bound to lead other African countries by example by obeying the rule of law and court orders, without which Nigeria’s promise of democracy cannot be sustained,” the group stated.