President Muhammadu Buhari has once again ruled out the idea of a political solution or bail option for the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in his current legal battle with the Federal Government.
Nnamdi Kanu is currently undergoing trial at an Abuja Federal High court on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, illegal possession of firearms among others.
The statement by Buhari is coming a few days after he accused IPOB of complicity in crude oil pipeline vandalism which has negatively impacted on production in the country.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, this was made known by Buhari during a bilateral meeting with the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on the margins of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.
Buhari denied insinuations that Nnamdi Kanu was not being allowed to have access to his lawyers privately, adding that the detained separatist was being given every opportunity under the law “to justify all the uncomplimentary things he had been saying against Nigeria in Britain.”
What President Bihari is saying
Buhari insinuated that the federal government is not favourably disposed to granting Nnamdi Kanu bail as he has jumped bail before.
He said, “He felt very safe in Britain, and said awful things against Nigeria.
”We eventually got him when he stepped out of the United Kingdom, and we sent him to court.
”Let him defend all that he has said there. His lawyers have access to him. Remember he jumped bail before, how are we sure he won’t do it again if he’s admitted to bail?”
On the question of running for another term by the British Prime Minister who obviously is not quite familiar with Nigeria’s maximum two terms limit, Buhari said that he would not be running for a third term.
He said, “Another term for me? No! The first person who tried it didn’t end very well.”
What you should know
- Recall that Nnamdi Kanu was first arrested in 2015 on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, and improper importation of goods, among others.
- He was initially detained and arraigned in court, but he fled the country in 2017 after he was granted bail for medical reasons, following an attack at his country home by security forces which led to some casualties.
- The embattled IPOB leader was later intercepted on June 27, 2021, and repatriated to Nigeria with the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian Intelligence and Security Services, to face the charges for which he was arrested about four years since he jumped bail.
- His repatriation followed an operation conducted by Nigerian security operatives in collaboration with international partners.
- Meanwhile, Kanu was re-arraigned by the Department of State Security (DSS) on charges bordering on alleged terrorism and treasonable felony on October 21, 2021, with journalists prevented from entering the court to cover the proceedings and the case was adjourned till November 10 for further hearing.
- In April, a federal high court in Abuja struck out 8 out of the 15-count charge filed against the IPOB leader