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50 Representatives Call for Nnamdi Kanu’s Release

leader, Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu

leader, Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu

Approximately 50 members of the House of Representatives from various geopolitical zones, under the aegis of the Concerned Federal Lawmakers for Peace and Security in the South-East, have appealed to President Bola Tinubu to invoke Section 174 of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 (as amended) and Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, to release Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, from the Department of State Services’ custody.

The lawmakers, from different political parties, urged President Tinubu in a letter dated June 19, 2024, to initiate measures to address the insecurity challenges in the South-East.

Some of the signatories of the letter include Obi Aguocha (Abia), Ikenga Ugochinyere (Imo), Afam Ogene (Anambra), Muhammed Jajere (Yobe), Aliyu Mustapha (Kaduna), Midala Balami (Borno), and Abiante Awaji-Inombek (Rivers). Others are Dominic Okafor (Anambra), Etanabene Benedict (Delta), Abdulmaleek Danga (Kogi), Shehu Dalhatu (Katsina), Chinedu Martins (Imo), Matthew Nwogu (Imo), Peter Aniekwe (Anambra), Koki Sagir (Kano), and Amobi Oga (Abia).

The lawmakers also urged Tinubu to mandate the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, to invoke his nolle prosequi powers under Section 174(1) of the Constitution and Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to release Kanu from detention and discontinue his trial.

The letter read in part, “Your Excellency, we are concerned members of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a strong belief and trust that the Renewed Hope agenda and the various positive reforms would be seen and felt by all. It is against this backdrop that we, the undersigned, hereby beseech Your Excellency to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, to invoke his powers of nolle prosequi under the provisions of Section 174(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, and cause the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention and discontinue his trial.

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“We collectively believe this is long overdue and would be instrumental in opening the door for much-needed conversations surrounding peace reformation and inclusivity, as well as addressing the issues that led to the agitations, especially at this time when Nigeria is going through several constitutional reforms.

“Your Excellency, we resolutely believe that this singular act can serve as a pivotal gesture towards national unity, as it would address some of the political, security, and economic concerns in the region. It would encourage stakeholders from the South-East to engage more actively in the national discussions on the renewed hope agenda, thereby promoting inclusivity and addressing long-standing grievances.

“This, we believe, will also help dismantle the apparatus of violence and restiveness that has plagued the region, allowing for a focus on economic growth and development. This comes at a time when the nation-state is under enormous pressure, including but not limited to unemployment, insecurity, hunger, and poverty, thereby de-escalating tension from all sides.

“Moreover, we, as key actors in the renewed hope agenda of Your Excellency, are not unmindful of the fact that Your Excellency has extended this gesture through the office of the Attorney General in the charge involving Omoyele Sowore, wherein he was charged with treasonable felony in Charge No FHC/ABJ CR/235/2019, Sunday Igboho, and others. All these recorded tremendous successes, especially in resolving the crisis within the North-Central, North-East, and South-South regions, not forgetting peace efforts in the Niger Delta region, which have helped in many ways.”

They noted that the establishment of the North East Development Commission, Ministry of the Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission, Presidential Amnesty, and various host community laws, were all commitments to show good faith to the plight of the people as well as resolving regional conflicts.

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“It is, therefore, our conviction that fixing the challenges in the South-East would go a long way in changing the narrative and showcasing your commitment to upholding the principles of rule of law, justice, and fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy. It would also set a precedent for addressing issues through dialogue rather than prolonged political and judicial persecution and a brass show of executive lawlessness. We, therefore, implore Your Excellency to adopt this approach, save the South-East, and pave the way for a national conversation to restore, safeguard, and improve the resources and economic activities in the South-East.

“The primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives and property. Facilitating the release of Nnamdi Kanu would demonstrate a commitment to upholding the principles of justice and fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy,” they added.

 

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