The Senate South-east Caucus has asked the federal government to obey the Appeal Court ruling, which ordered the immediate release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The Caucus also advised the federal government against appealing the ruling at the Supreme Court.
The lawmakers asked the Presidency to use this time to consider a political solution to solve the lingering problem in the interest of the country’s unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians.
This plea was contained in a statement signed by 14 South-eastern senators. The senators are from Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi, the five states that make up the zone.
Last week, the Court of Appeal in Abuja, struck out the terrorism charges filed against Mr Kanu by the Nigerian government and ordered his release from the custody of the State Security Service (SSS).
The Court said the IPOB leader was “extra-ordinarily renditioned” to Nigeria and that the action was a flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and also a breach of his fundamental human rights.
But Nigeria’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, argued that the court only discharged Mr Kanu and did not acquit him. He hinted that the government would not release Mr Kanu, despite the court ruling.
He added that the government is reviewing its legal options and could institute other charges against the IPOB leader.
“The federal government will consider all available options open to us on judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues,” Mr Malami said.
In its statement, the lawmakers warned that resorting to the Supreme Court would ignite varied interpretations, which to all intents is injurious to the unity and corporate existence of the country.
“This is the time to show magnanimity and statesmanship, ” the lawmakers said. “And that the Appeal Court has provided the leeway for the authorities to walk the talk as ones desirous of preserving Nigeria’s unity and respect for her diversity.”
They said not appealing the matter and resorting to political solutions would enhance the government’s prestige.
“Accordingly, we appeal to Mr President, to remember the promise he made to a delegation of elders of Igboland sometime ago and release Nnamdi Kanu, especially now that the Appeal Court by that ruling removed the burden of interference from him. Going on appeal would ultimately negate that kind gesture.”
Apart from the senators, many other Nigerians have also called on the federal government to release Mr Kanu.
Some of them suggested that even if the federal government wants to further pursue the case, it should release the IPOB leader first.
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