A special committee of the House of Representatives has advocated for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the incarcerated leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Obinna Aguocha, the head of the committee, spoke during a hearing on Thursday, emphasizing that Kanu’s release is crucial for reinstating peace in the troubled south-east region.
Kanu has been under the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) ever since his extradition from Kenya in June 2021. However, in a landmark ruling in October 2022, Abuja’s court of appeal dismissed the terrorism charges levied against him by the federal government. The court also declared Kanu’s extradition as illegal.
Despite the ruling, the federal government initiated an appeal in the Supreme Court against the judgement. It also launched an amended charge against Kanu in a federal high court, while concurrently filing a stay of execution in the appellate court, which was subsequently granted.
Aguocha, during the hearing, stressed that addressing the root cause of the unrest in the south-east is imperative for tackling its security challenges effectively. He stated that ensuring peace, reducing crime, fostering infrastructure development, and improving economic opportunities in the south-east begins with the government’s acknowledgement of the rule of law, justice, and equitable inclusion of the south-east zone. He further emphasized that Kanu’s unconditional release is paramount for lasting peace and security in the region.
Aguocha described the security condition in the south-east as more than just statistics or headlines, affecting the lives of people, institutions, and hindering the growth of the region. He urged all leaders and stakeholders to work together, putting aside differences, to find sustainable solutions for the current threats and pave the way for a better future.
Kanu’s prolonged detention has been linked to the escalating insecurity in the south-east, with numerous stakeholders, including regional governors, calling for his release.
IMAGE: Ikenga Online