Ohanaeze, ECA, condemn FG’s plan to re-arrest Kanu

Political activist and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement, Nnamdi Kanu (L), wearing a Jewish prayer shawl, poses in the garden of his house in Umuahia, southeast Nigeria, on May 26, 2017, before the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the war on May 30. / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

Apex Igbo Socio-Cultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, chided moves by the Federal Government to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu, by revoking the bail granted him as the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had on Friday, approached a Federal High Court, Abuja, for an order revoking the bail granted to Kanu on April 25, this year; on the grounds that he is standing trial for alleged offences of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and other related offences.

However, Ohanaeze described the move as “biased, double standard and violation of Kanu’s fundamental human rights, especially for refusing to arrest Arewa Youths, who issued threatening and hate speech on Ndigbo.”

In a statement entitled, “Attorney General of the Federation, please respect your oath of office,” which was issued by its President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, the group warned the Federal Government to desist from actions capable of undermining the fragile peace in the country.

Ohanaeze said: “It has just been brought to my notice that the Attorney General of the Federation has approached the court to incarcerate Nnamdi Kalu for flouting his bail conditions. I am amazed that the distinguished attorney is prepared to contest the superiority of the provisions of the constitution on fundamental human rights of freedom of movement and freedom of association over an erroneous judicial proclamation, violating those rights.

“I am equally miffed by the audacity with which the Attorney General displays his bias without regard to his oath of office. A few hours ago under the watchful eyes of the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and in total defiance of the Head of State’s proclamation of the rights of a citizen of Nigeria to live anywhere in Nigeria and to do business anywhere in Nigeria, the Arewa youths, pretending to withdraw their quit notice gave qualifications to the Head of State’s proclamation, issuing conditions for enjoyment of citizenship status.”

The organisation noted that “these same Arewa youths are supposed to have been arrested on the orders of the Governor of Kaduna State and the Inspector General of Police, for acts of treason, coercion and sedition.”

It added: “As the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, the Attorney General looks the other way, he does not go to court to seek an order of arrest or prosecution.

“Nnamdi, as a citizen of Nigeria, is free to hold any point of view no matter how displeasing to anyone, so long as they are not inciting or provoking any criminal activities.”

The Ohanaeze President explained that although he and some Igbo leaders “have differences of opinion with Nnamdi on a number of issues, we have been insulted and abused by Radio Biafra, but we concede them their right to differ from us. We concede them their nature to be exuberant as youths, but we cannot be judgmental about their rights.”

The group reminded the AGF, that as in democracies, “leaders are abused, pelted with rotten eggs and booed at, as the former Edo State governor was booed in Abuja a few days ago,” noting that those acts are not necessarily criminal.

“I urge the Attorney-General not to exacerbate our already tense nation by commencing a legal action, which portrays him as biased, insensitive and misdirected,” they added.

On its part, Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), said the move to re-arrest Kanu, without arresting the quit notice givers, genocidal song-writers and herdsmen murderers, would spell doom for the country, stressing that it would deepen the division already being experienced in Nigeria

In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Elliot Uko, ECA asked the government to learn from history, contending that arresting Kanu in October 2015 “was a big mistake; denying him bail was another mistake and executing his followers in cold blood in Aba, Onitsha and Nkpor was a much bigger mistake.”



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