Why Buhari Regime Refused To Obey Appeal Court Order Releasing IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu –Justice Minister, Malami

The Nigerian government has given reasons for disobeying a court order releasing the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal earlier in October acquitted and discharged the separatist leader but the government has refused to obey the court order in typical fashion.

A three-man panel of the Appeal Court judges on October 13 ruled that Kanu’s rendition from Kenya by the Nigerian government was illegal. The court asked the government to return Kanu to Kenya and pay him the sum of N500 million as compensation. However, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to obey the court ruling.

Kanu has been detained by Buhari’s regime since his extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria in June 2021.

In an exclusive interview with Vanguard on Thursday, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said the regime would not release Kanu because of several factors.

Malami said the rendition of Kanu could not be used as the only basis to set him free from other charges the Nigerian government preferred against him.

According to Malami, the government is holding on to Kanu on account of four major issues which preceded the rendition matter for which the court cleared him.

The justice minister said, “To release or not to release Nnamdi Kanu is a function of law and the rule of law for that matter. In arriving at a decision on whether to release or not release, is one; you look at the rule of law, two; you look at the public and the national interest, three; you look at the security situation, four; you look at international diplomacy.

“Let me talk first of the rule of law. This is someone that has been granted bail on account of charges that have been preferred against him at the court. Someone jumping bail to the international community, a case of a fugitive is established against the background of jumping the bail.

“Two, arising from the national security, this is someone that is charged with treason, incitement and destruction of civil authority, murder and assassination of others on account of his incitement, that boil down to issues of national security and criminality.

“Three, on account of international diplomacy, this is someone that has, against his person, used the international community or a foreign country to launch an attack against a nation, against his nation for that matter.

“So all these naturally come into play to determine what to do. So if you have through judicial processes establish multiple cases of treason, homicide, bail-jumping among others; the fact that you have indeed succeeded in one case as against multiple others that are pending goes to establish the fact that that case cannot be the only basis and criteria for determining whether you are entitled to be released or not.”

While it is yet to obey the ruling of the Appellate court, the Nigerian government appealed the judgment and asked the Supreme Court to set aside the October 13 Appeal Court judgment.

The government made the appeal in a notice of appeal dated October 18 and signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mohammed Abubakar, Senior State Counsel, G. Nweze, Department of Public Prosecution, Federal Ministry of Justice and Assistant Chief State Counsel, D. Kaswe and A. Aluko which contained seven grounds of appeal against the Appeal Court judgment.

Sahara Reporters