The Federal Government has received knocks for filing an appeal at the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal’s judgement releasing the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Prominent socio-political socio-cultural groups including Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Middle Belt Forum (MBF), and Aka Ikenga, Friday condemned the Federal Government’s appeal of the order for Kanu’s release by the Court of Appeal.
They expressed the views that the appeal would prolong the crisis in the South East and Nigeria in general.
The Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Jummai Sankey on October 13, discharged Kanu of the terrorism charges preferred against him by the Federal Government.
But the Federal Government on Thursday filed seven grounds of appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgement. It also asked the Supreme Court to restore the charges against Kanu, and for a stay of execution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, pending the hearing and final determination of its appeal. The Federal Government noted that the IPOB leader posed a flight risk and should be held in detention.
Reacting to the appeal at the apex court, National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, said the Federal Government’s motion for continued incarceration of Kanu is unfortunate and further exposes President Muhammadu Buhari’s hatred for the Igbo.
He said: “If the Federal Government wants to achieve peace in Nigeria and the South East in particular, it should explore a political solution to Nnamdi Kanu’s problem. It is not everything that is resolved through the court or by use of force.”
In the same vein, President of MBF, Dr Pogu Bitrus urged the Federal Government to withdraw the appeal and rather seek a political solution.
He noted that the continued persecution of the IPOB leader could make him more popular.
He said: “Nnamdi Kanu’s issue is a liberation struggle and should be addressed politically. The APC government should exact political pressure and resolve the issues without discrimination or marginalisation so that we can move forward. The more they torment Nnamdi Kanu, the more they make him popular, so it would be in the interest of government to lay low and release him.
“In any case the release of Nnamdi Kanu could even be beneficial to the government, especially, now that Peter Obi is making waves across the country. Nnamdi could impress upon his supporters that he is agitating because of marginalisation against the Igbo, but that now there is a ray of hope that an Igbo man could become President of Nigeria that there is no further need for the agitation.”
Also, former President of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike noted that the appeal by the Federal Government amounted to “an infamous case of executive lawlessness.”
He said, “The Court of Appeal judgment is lucid and succinct. The President of Nigeria some days ago was at the United Nations General Assembly waving a flag of respect for Human Rights and Rule of Law and today his government is heading to the Supreme Court to justify kidnapping and arraignment.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the position of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice is the only one provided for and a minimum qualification required.
In other words, this post is meant for a sober and wise person. Wisdom determines that the Attorney General uses his position to know what move to make and when to allow sleeping dog to lie. The Federal Government will want to disobey the Court of Appeal judgment while pursuing this appeal. This is an infamous case of executive lawlessness.
“A couple of days ago, the Court of Appeal told the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) that it cannot refuse to obey the Industrial Court judgment while it pursues its appeal. In a simple language, obey the court judgement before you pursue your appeals. Because of this Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s cases, President Buhari will have his biography being written as MNK vs PMB.”
Afenifere, in its own reaction, urged the government to respect the judgement of the Court of Appeal the same way it gloated over the compliance of ASUU with the order of the Industrial Court that ordered the striking teachers to go back to the classroom. The Sun