BREAKING: Traditional rulers of S East and bishops demand the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu

While the federal government continues to illegally detain the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) even after a competent court dismissed and acquitted him, the Council of Traditional Leaders of the South East and representatives of the Igbo Archbishops and Bishops for Peace and Conflict Resolution on Tuesday called for his immediate release.

Respected temporal and spiritual leaders who have taken note of the July 20, 2022 opinion of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who has been in detention for over a an, following his return from Kenya in June 2021, said such a move would ease current tensions in the South East and create an atmosphere of collaboration for constructive problem solving.

It will be recalled that a three-man panel of the Abuja Court of Appeal headed by Justice Hanatu Sankey had on Thursday, October 13, 2022 ruled that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to try Nnamdi Kanu on the ground of its return. in Nigeria which violates the extradition protocol and the OAU convention, and subsequently sent him back.

But the Prosecutors Generation of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, claimed that he had only been dismissed and not acquitted, thereby depriving him of his liberty.

The National Security Council which met afterwards agreed with Malami and indicated that Nnamdi Kanu remains behind bars.

Reacting on Tuesday, traditional leaders and clergy said such a move would be detrimental to the country’s peace.

The declaration signed by HM Obi Nnaemeka Achebe, CFR, DOB, JP, Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers of Anambra State; HM Igwe Amb LOC Agubuzu, OON, Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Leaders; Archbishop Chibuzo R. Opoko, TFG, Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia and Archbishop Valerian M. Okeke, Roman Catholic Onitsha, said the Court of Appeal judgment on Nnamdi Kanu presents “a timely and unprecedented opportunity to overcome the trust challenge that has obstructed the path to peace; and opens the window to win people’s hearts and minds.

The statement said:

“The South Eastern Council of Traditional Rulers and Representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops (the Joint Body) was established in fulfillment of the temporal and spiritual leadership mandates inherent in the respective offices of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs as the moral compass of our constituents, as well as advisers, guides and mediators in their lives as citizens of our dear nation, Nigeria.

“In the recent past, the Joint Body has undertaken extensive and intense behind-the-scenes consultations with all stakeholders to negotiate a permanent and regionally coordinated restoration of the Southeast to the status of the most peaceful and progressive sub-national area of Nigeria. The Joint Body has been consistent and persistent in its appeal to all stakeholders not to slacken the pursuit of the consolidation of peace and the resolution of security problems in the South-East on the basis of the justice, fairness, fairness, love, mutual understanding and respect for all people. In this light, we also supported the call for the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the federal government to ease current tensions in the Southeast and create an atmosphere of collaboration for constructive problem solving.

“We note the opinion issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, regarding the pending legal action brought by the Federal Government of Nigeria against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, which was rendered on 20 July 2022. Among the numerous recommendations or requests made to the Federal Government, the opinion called for the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who has been detained for over a year, following his return from Kenya in June 2021.

“We also take note of media reports confirming that on Thursday, October 13, 2022, a three-man panel of the Abuja Court of Appeal led by Justice Hanatu Sankey ruled that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction over try Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on the grounds of his restitution to Nigeria, which violates extradition protocol and the OAU convention, and subsequently dismissed Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“We welcome this judgment and affirm that the wisdom of the Court of Appeal offers a timely and unprecedented opportunity to overcome the trust challenge that has impeded the path to peace; and opens the window to win people’s hearts and minds. We therefore unequivocally support the call for the immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in accordance with the Court’s unanimous judgment that his extradition and subsequent trial were unlawful, and the lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. ‘affair.

“In conclusion, the march toward peace and the restoration of normalcy to our society and our economy requires the collective action of all of God’s people. We are confident that all Nigerians will rise to the call of history and act with courage, conviction and integrity.

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