Nigeria: NEF to Buhari - Judicial Process Must Run Its Course On Kanu

30 November 2021

Kaduna, Abuja — The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against granting the request of Igbo elders to terminate the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Kanu is being held by the DSS after he was accused of terrorism and treasonable felony.

Buhari has said the demand for an unconditional release of Kanu is a difficult one, but he would consider the demand by Highly Respected Igbo Greats.

The forum's spokesman, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement yesterday, said there was no safe, constructive or informed ground for Buhari to grant the Igbo leaders' request.

He said the president would do serious injury to the country if he delayed announcing that the judicial process in the case of Kanu must be allowed to run its course.

"The Forum notes that there are no safe, constructive or informed grounds for granting the request and advises that President Buhari will do serious injury to a country already threatened by multiple challenges to its security and territorial integrity if he delays announcing the only responsible response, which is that the judicial process in the case of Kanu must be allowed to run its course," he said.

The forum also called for clarity in the targets of the judicial decision to label bandits and kidnappers as terrorists, while cautioning against profiling and targeting of all Fulani as terrorists.

"Millions of law-abiding Fulani exist and should be encouraged to stay on the side of the law, while those who have chosen to continue on the path of criminality should feel the full weight of the law," he said.

Meanwhile, a former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu yesterday visited Kanu who is in the custody of the Department of State Services.

Kalu, who is currently the Chief Whip of the Senate, in a Facebook post, said he had a discussion with the IPOB leader, who, he said was in good health and care.

"This afternoon, I visited my brother, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody, Abuja. I met him in good health and care and we discussed as 'Umunne'.

"In 2001 when I was governor, I made his father, Eze Israel Okwu Kanu traditional ruler of Akwara Ukwu and since then the family has been very close to me.

"I understand that Nnamdi has an insane amount of people rooting for him back home and I encouraged him to consider the consequences of certain actions and utterances for the sake of the same people.

"Even though my ideology and his ideology are totally different, God has made us brothers and we can't run away from each other," he wrote.

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