The leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has rejected Anambra State governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo’s appeal to the federal government to release their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, offering to stand as a surety for his release.
The group rather insisted that Soludo should be bold enough and tell the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government that its continued incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu in prison is contemptuous to the judgement of the Court of Appeal that discharged and acquitted him of all the charges against him, and, ordered that he should be released “unconditionally”.
The IPOB in a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, argued that Soludo by his plea and offer to stand as surety for Nnamdi Kanu’s release portrays the federal government as not acting in contempt of her own court and breaching the constitution of the country by detaining the IPOB leader in the facilities of the Department of the State Services (DSS) since 13th of October, 2022, after Appeal Court delivered judgement on the case against him.
The group insisted that the Court of Appeal, Abuja judicial division, in its erudite judgement delivered on 13th October, 2022, discharged and acquitted the leader of IPOB and all the remaining eight-count amended charge preferred against him, and consequently directed for his unconditional release.
IPOB stated that the landmark judgement further prohibited the Federal Government of Nigeria from detaining their leader or even presenting him for trial on any indictment or offence whatsoever before any court in Nigeria.
“It is important therefore, to clarify that our leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU has no any form of indictment or even charge pending against him today before any court by the authority of this Judgement.
“The issue of granting bail or otherwise does not arise by any stretch of consideration or imagination, because it is the Federal Government that is today in breach of this order of superior court of competent Jurisdiction,” he added.
Soludo who was a few days ago appointed national leader of his party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, during the party’s kick-off campaign for the 2023 general election held at Alex Ekwueme square, Awka, weekend appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to release the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu “unconditionally” and promising to stand as surety for his release.
The Anambra State governor had claimed that the continued incarceration of the IPOB leader was partly responsible for the increased insecurity in South East.
But the IPOB leadership in a swift response insisted since Nnamdi Kanu has been discharged and acquitted by the Appeal Court on 13th October, 2022, “we have gone beyond issue of surety or no surety, every genuine call/demand in the prevailing circumstance should be firmly directed at calling out on the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately obey the order for the unconditional release of Onyendu (Nnamdi Kanu) made by its (Federal government’s) own court”.
IPOB even expressed disappointment with Soludo for having not mounted pressure on the federal government to obey the Appeal Court judgement and free Kanu since over three months ago that the Court gave order to that effect.
According to IPOB, “Soludo and others should know that current incarceration (of Nnamdi Kanu) is not sanctioned by any law known to man, it is unconstitutional and affront to constitutional democracy and rule of law.”
The group insisted that based on the Appeal Court judgement Nnamdi Kanu has no case to answer again, “therefore, the need for surety does not arise, instead Governor Soludo should gear all his efforts towards persuading and compelling on the lawless rulers of Nigeria to obey their own Law”.
“It is to be pointed out further, that this kind of plea is the reason why the rulers of the federal government of Nigeria have no regard for the rule of Law (otherwise) why should we be pleading with them to obey their own court orders directing for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu? It’s compelling and mandatory on their part to obey their own court orders.
“Federal government is today in grave contempt of the orders of its own court , and their appeal before the Supreme Court cannot justify the present illegal incarceration of our leader in a solitary confinement in DSS,” IPOB said.