A section of federal lawmakers beg Tinubu to withdraw suit against Nnamdi Kanu

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Members of the Nigerian House of Representatives, numbering 50, have formally requested President Bola Tinubu to withdraw suit against Nnamdi Kanu the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The appeal, which is based on Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution, emphasizes the powers vested in the Attorney General of the Federation to discontinue cases on grounds of public interest, justice, and prevention of legal process abuse.

Ikenga Ugochinyere, representing Ideato Federal Constituency, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday that the lawmakers view Kanu’s release as pivotal for peace restoration in the South-East region.

Ugochinyere stated that the letter, dated June 19, 2024, was endorsed by representatives across various political parties and geopolitical zones.

Kanu, who has been leading a campaign for the creation of the Biafra Republic, is currently facing trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja for his separatist activities. Recently, he expressed his willingness to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the government.

The political party breakdown of the signatories includes 23 members of the Labour Party, 10 from the PDP, nine from the APC, three from APGA, and one from the NNPP.

An excerpt from the letter highlighted the lawmakers’ collective belief in President Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope” agenda and the necessity of Kanu’s release to foster national unity and address long-standing grievances in the South-East.

Ikenga Ugochinyere

The letter read in parts:

“Your Excellency, we are concerned members of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a strong belief and trust that the Renewed Hope agenda of His Excellency and the various positive reforms will be seen and felt by all.

“It is against this backdrop that we, the undersigned, hereby beseech Your Excellency to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, to invoke his powers of nolle prosequi under the provisions of Section 174(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, and cause the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention and discontinue his trial, which we collectively believe is long overdue and would be instrumental in opening the door for much-needed conversations surrounding peace, reformation, and inclusivity, as well as addressing the issues that led to the agitations, especially at this time when Nigeria is going through several constitutional reforms.

“Moreover, we as key actors in the Renewed Hope agenda of Your Excellency are not unmindful of the fact that Your Excellency has extended this gesture through the office of the Attorney General in the charge involving Omoyele Sowore wherein he was charged with treasonable felony in Charge No. FHC/ABJ CR/235/2019, Sunday Igboho, etc.

“It is therefore our conviction that fixing the challenges in the South-East would go a long way in changing the narrative and showcasing your commitment to upholding the principles of the rule of law, justice, and fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy. It would also set a precedent for addressing issues through dialogue rather than prolonged political-cum-judicial persecution and a brass show of executive lawlessness.

“We, therefore, implore Your Excellency to adopt this approach, save the South East, and pave the way for a national conversation to restore, safeguard, and better the resources and economic activities in the South East. The primary responsibility of the government is the protection of lives and property. Facilitating the release of Nnamdi Kanu would demonstrate a commitment to upholding the principles of justice and fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy.”

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