The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has reacted after President Muhammadu Buhari ruled out the possibility of releasing him from detention on the grounds of pardon.
Buhari, during a Channels TV interview on Wednesday, said the IPOB leader must face the charges levelled against him in court by the Federal Government.
The government had accused him of “terrorism, treason, involvement with a banned separatist movement, inciting public violence through radio broadcasts, and defamation of Nigerian authorities through broadcasts”.
President Buhari, during the interview, had said he doesn’t interfere with the judiciary and would prefer for the IPOB leader to be given the opportunity to be heard.
“Let him be listened to. For those who are saying that we should release him, no we cannot release him.
“There is a possibility of a political solution; if people behave themselves, all well and good, but you can’t go to a foreign country and keep on sending incorrect economic and security problem against your country and thinking that you will never have to account for what you have been doing. Let him account for what he has been doing,” the president had said.
But responding when he met with his lawyers at the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja on Thursday, Kanu said he was not worried about the president’s decision.
The IPOB leader’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, related his client’s response in a statement issued late Thursday.
Ejiofor, who described the president’s statement as a “stereotyped response”, said Kanu’s camp was not “one bit perturbed” because they know that the Federal Government has no case against the IPOB leader.
He said, “What we are earnestly asking for is nothing else, but for the executive arm of Government led by the President of the FRN, to desist from further interfering in the judicial process. We can authoritatively confirm to the World that the executive arm of the Government of the FRN, ably led by the President is gravely and effectively interfering in our Client’s judicial proceedings.
“To demonstrate good faith and impartiality, we beckon on the President of the FRN to first caution the DSS which answers solely to him, to obey all Court Orders as it relates to the management of this case.
“Our Client, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should not be detained in solitary confinement (which is an act of torture) in the custody of the same Agency accusing him of committing sundry offences and expect fair hearing. Hence, there is no independence of the judiciary as far as this case is concerned, and the President of the FRN is fully aware of this.
“If it is the position of the President of the FRN to allow fair hearing, he should follow up and ensure its reality, most promptly.
“In view of the ongoing and incessant abduction and/or disappearance of numerous innocent citizens in the south east, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, admonished all and sundry, particularly his followers/supporters, to be wary, vigilant and circumspect at all times, particularly as it relates to calls and contacts from unknown persons.
“Onyendu as usual, sends his appreciation to all his ardent followers who have remained undaunted and defiant against all odds.”