Nnamdi Kanu: Peace ‘ll return to S’East – Abaribe, Orji.
By Steve Oko
The immediate-past Governor of Abia State and senator representing Abia Central, Senator Theodore Orji, has hailed Thursday’s Court of Appeal judgement which discharged and acquitted the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, of all seven counts of terrorism charge preferred against him by the Federal Government.
This is as the former Senate Minority Leader and Senator representing Abia South, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has said that the landmark judgement would restore peace to the South East zone.
The duo in their separate reactions to the judgement, hailed the court for its courage to deliver the judgement based on prevailing evidence.
They hailed the judgement as “landmark”, and urged the Federal Government to comply with the court decision and release Kanu without further delays.
Senator Orji in a release by his Liaison Officer, Hon. Ifeanyi Umere, said the judgement would help improve Nigeria’s global image as a country with regard for the rule of law.
Abaribe in an interview with Vanguard pleaded with the Federal Government not to appeal the judgement but fully comply with it in the overall interest of the country.
Senator Abaribe further urged the Federal Government to use the opportunity and resolve agitations ignited by injustice and exclusion in various parts of the country.
His words:“We thank God that Justice has been done by the appeal court. Peace will now return to the South-East and the conflict entrepreneurs who have besieged the South-East and made life difficult for our people will be put to shame.
“We implore the Federal Government not to contest the judgement but to seize this opportunity to resolve all the agitations in the South East and other parts of Nigeria due to injustice and marginalization.”
The release by Senator Orji read in part:”It’s a landmark judgement not only for the Judiciary and Democracy but also for the Rule of Law in Nigeria, positioning the country in positive light in the comity of Nations and for the sustenance of the Independence of Judiciary.”
Meanwhile, Kanu’s family has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to honour his earlier promise of not interference with the court proceedings but abide with the court decisions.
Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu who spoke with Vanguard on phone said he expected President Buhari to simply remember his promise to Igbo delegation and honour his own words.
“I hold Mr President by his own words. Over six months ago when Igbo delegation met with him, he promised not to meddle into the affairs of the court, promising to allow the rule of law.
” Now that the rule of law has taken place, I expect him to keep to his words.”
Kanu’s family further noted that full compliance with the court judgement would help to dounce the rising tension in the South East.
“My prayer is that the Federal Government should harken to the judgement and and obey it completely and haphazardly.
” It will help to bring peace. As soon as he is released, there won’t be any sit at home again. Then genuine negotiations will start.
” Nnamdi Kanu is not asking for too much. He wants justice for the people. He is not the problem that Nigeria has; he is only part of the solution but those in power don’t want to realise this simple truth”.
Meanwhile, Kanu’s Special Counsel, Mr Aloy Ejimakor, has tackled the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami over the AGF’s response that new legal grounds would be explored to nail Kanu.
Ejimakor in a statement, argued that no new charge against Kanu would stand in law as his rendition from Kenya is a total illegality in itself, and Nigeria cannot be made to benefit from an act of illegality.
The statement read in part:”The position of AGF Malami on the Court of Appeal judgment regarding Nnamdi Kanu is flatly wrong and it is perverse to boot.
“If the FG refuses or stalls on releasing Kanu solely because it desires to levy further or new charges, it will amount to a burgeoning holding charge which is impermissible in our jurisprudence.
“Further, no new charges can stick against Kanu because, in the present circumstance, the extraordinary rendition is an abiding factor that has created a permanent barrier to his prosecution.
“Keep in mind that the extant trial of Kanu could never have proceeded had he not been illegally renditioned. So, it is not legally possible to lose jurisdiction in the extant charges and at once obtain jurisdiction in the next round of charges.
“The judgment of the Court of Appeal has therefore, grandfathered a continuing lack of prosecutorial jurisdiction that will, in the interim, be very hard to overcome.
“Thus, before the levying of any new charges can have a toga of legality or chances of conferring prosecutorial jurisdiction, Kanu has to be released first. Anything to the contrary will be nugatory.