The Northern Elders Forum has kicked against the South-East leaders’ request for the release of Nnamdi Kanu – leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The NEF said it would amount to an affront on the rule of law should President Muhammadu Buhari consider the South-East leaders’ request to release Kanu who is facing trial on treason and terrorism-related charges.
Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF’s Director of Public Affairs, in a Facebook post late Saturday, said Buhari has no reason to approve Kanu’s release.
“President Buhari should have emphasized his obligation to respect the rule of law and allow the continuation of the trial of Nnamdi Kanu.There is nothing to ‘consider’ in the request of the leaders from the SE (South-East).The judicial process must not be subverted.
“President Buhari has no reason to release Nnamdi Kanu instead of court. The pledge he made of ‘check’ plea (sic) to be released without trial will not do any good or [be] beneficial to the country,” he said.
President Buhari had promised to consider the request for Kanu’s release when he received South-East leaders under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.
Mbazulike Amaechi, a First Republic parliamentarian and former Minister of Aviation, had led the group’s visit to the president.
Buhari had told the South-East leaders that their request was an “extremely difficult” one with “very serious” implications.
The president stressed that the request “is heavy” but promised to “consider it”, while also noting that he has a policy of non-interference with the Judiciary.
92-year-old Amaechi had told Buhari: “I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in one big, united Nigeria, a force in Africa.
”Mr President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and you quenched the fire.”
The delegation had amongst others Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, former President of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, and Mr Tagbo Amaechi.