January 24, 2023

Promise to release Nnamdi Kanu if elected president, Bruce Fein tells Atiku, Tinubu, Obi

By Biodun Busari

Bruce Fein, an American constitutional lawyer has asked the presidential candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu; and Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, to include the unconditional release of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in their campaign promises.

Kanu’s international counsel and spokesperson, Fein said the trio should not toe the line of lawlessness if elected the next president of Nigeria, adding that whoever emerges as President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor should respect court verdicts and release Kanu.

Fein made this known in an open letter written to Atiku, Tinubu and Obi, titled ‘RE: Ending Nigeria’s international outlaw status’ as issued by Kanu’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor on Tuesday.

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The letter partly read, “The Nigerian Constitution itself embraces “justice” as a pillar of the social order. Section 17 (1). I am urging all three of you to pledge if elected president to end Nigeria’s pariah status as an enemy of all mankind by exacting compliance with jus cogens norms of international law.

“Towards that end, I am urging you to pledge the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu as directed by July 20, 2022, authoritative Opinion of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. 

“Among other things, the Opinion found that Nigeria is arbitrarily detaining Mr Kanu in violation of sixteen (16) human rights covenants.

“If you ascend to the presidency without the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, you will become an international outlaw subject to corresponding punishment and sanctions.”

It further stated, “Your minds should fasten on an equally compelling reason for the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu. Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.

“In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperilled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man or woman to become laws unto themselves.

“You can choose to be a firefighter by pledging, if elected, to order the immediate, unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu; or you can choose to be part of the fire by refusing the pledge and defiling the rule of law.”