You Granted Amnesty To Repentant Boko Haram Terrorists; Southeast Beckons, Release Nnamdi Kanu To Me Before May 29, Governor Soludo Writes Buhari | #NwokeukwuMascot
|Gov Chukwuma Soludo|
Governor Chukwuma Soludo has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, appealing for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
The letter dated April 20, 2023, is titled ‘Passionate Appeal For The Urgent Release Of Mazi’ and copied to the President-elect, Bola Tinubu and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
In the letter, Governor Soludo appealed to Buhari to release the separatist leader to him personally before he hands over power to Tinubu on May 29, even if it would be on bail, adding that he could vouch that Kanu would be presented in court when needed.
Commending the Buhari government for granting amnesty to ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists in Northeast Nigeria, Soludo said it was time to extend the same grace to Kanu.
He said if releasing Kanu unconditionally is untenable, he should be granted administrative bail on compassionate grounds.
He wrote, “In the light of the foregoing, it is my earnest prayer that Mr. President may kindly consider the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as demanded by the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Federal High Court.
“This will be the right thing to do as a country that should extol the principles of the rule of law and in compliance with the international law and conventions that Nigeria is signatory to.
“Alternatively, if there are persisting grounds that make his unconditional release untenable, Mr President may consider granting him administrative bail on compassionate grounds and as part of the national healing process/creating a conducive atmosphere for a political solution.
“In this circumstance, I am prepared to take him on bail. My government is prepared to provide him with an alternative secured accommodation at Awka where he will have access to appropriate medical care, among others, and make him available when required. This will help to douse tensions in the South East and pave the way for constructive discussions towards progress.
“We commend your efforts in the North East, especially in granting amnesty and rehabilitation for repentant Boko Haram operatives. The South East beckons, and I am confident that you can still do something historic within the remaining days of your tenure.
“Mr President, I am available for a meeting (if need be) at your earliest convenience to discuss any or all of the prayers above. God has been merciful to you over your entire life, especially during the past eight years.
“As you shepherd a transition process to hand over to your successor, you might as well help to smoothen his easy take-off by resolving some of the lingering issues such as Mazi Kanu's detention. I therefore respectfully call on you, as a statesman to discharge a historic show of mercy and release Nnamdi Kanu before you hand over on the 29th May 2023.”
According to Soludo, Kanu’s incarceration has worsened insecurity in the Southeast.
He lamented that Kanu had got two favourable court judgments, ordering his release.
He said, “However, up to this moment and going on to nearly two years, the trial has stalled and lingered in the courts with no end in sight.
“Without meaning to delve into the merits of his case, it is pertinent to point out that Mazi Kanu has gotten TWO rulings in the court ordering his release from detention. It is also my understanding that the Federal Government has secured a stay of execution of ONE of these rulings and is also appealing the same.
“One of the court rulings for his release remains unchallenged and/or subsisting. In July 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council had issued an opinion calling on the Federal Government to release him unconditionally.
“In the meantime, the continued detention of Mazi Kanu has created what, for want of a better description, can be seen as systemic insecurity in the South East. Some supporters of Mazi Kanu have imposed the obnoxious and harmful "Sit-at-Home" order every Monday in the South East while all manner of criminal gangs (kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers, etc) now masquerade as "freedom fighters" or those fighting for the release of Mazi Kanu.
“The human toll in terms of lost lives and socio-economic hardship as well as challenges to our security personnel are matters for another day. Since my assumption of office as Governor of Anambra, we have been fighting these criminals head-on, in partnership with the security agencies.
“While we have achieved significant successes in Anambra, some businesses remain closed and movement remains limited on Mondays out of fear and anxiety. It is our belief that a lot still needs to be done and paradoxically. Mazi Kanu might end up as a part of the lasting solution.”
In January, the governor called for the unconditional release of the detained IPOB leader.
Governor Soludo said he was ready to stand as a surety for Kanu if the Nigerian government could not release him unconditionally.
According to him, Kanu was needed at the roundtable conversation to discuss the insecurity in the Southeast.