Just In: Why Nnamdi Kanu Must Be Released Now - eritvnews

Just In: Why Nnamdi Kanu Must Be Released Now


We add our voice to those of many
concerned Nigerians who have appealed to
the Federal Government to urgently release
Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who
has been incarcerated since October 2015
in spite of several court orders that he be
released on bail.


The latest calls for Kanu’s release have
come from former Senate President, Mr.
Ken Nnamani, and the Nzuko Umunna, a
Pan-Igbo organisation under whose aegis
Professor Charles Soludo, former Governor
of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and
Professor Pat Utomi, a political economist
and social critic, spoke on the need for the
Federal Government to obey court orders,
even when such orders are unpalatable.
Other calls have come from the Deputy
Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, and
former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor
Kalu. Inter Society, an international society
for civil liberties and rule of law, has written
an open letter to world leaders in Europe,
America, Canada, and their parliaments, and
to international multilateral organisations,
drawing attention to the grave injustice of
the continued incarceration of Mr. Nnamdi
Kanu.


That this administration has to be reminded
to obey court orders dents its progressive
credentials. Disobedience of court orders is
antithetical to democratic ethos. It is also
universally acknowledged as the most
visible and potent threat to democracy.
There can be no rule of law where court
orders are routinely ignored and treated with
disdain.


We believe that Nigeria is a democracy and
the Nigerian Constitution is the grund norm
which must be respected at all times. Any
disrespect of a constitutional order is
tantamount to a subversion of the legal
system and a breach of the democratic
ideals on which the present dispensation
rests.




Chapter 4, Section 35 of the Constitution
spells out in unequivocal terms how
Nigerian citizens must be treated when they
are suspected of having committed an
offence. Section 35 (4) specifies that “any
person who is arrested or detained in
accordance with subsection (1) (c) of this
section shall be brought before a court of
law within a reasonable time and if he is
not tried within a period of (a) two months
from the date of his arrest or detention in
the case of a person who is in custody or
is not entitled to bail; or (b) three months
from the date of his arrest or detention in
the case of a person who has been
released on bail, he shall be released
(without prejudice to any further
proceedings that may be brought against
him) either unconditionally or upon such
conditions as are reasonably necessary to
ensure he appears for trial at a later date.”


The continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu
cannot be supported by law, policy or
politics. Each day he is held in detention
is an extra day he garners more support, he
grows in stature as a prisoner of
conscience and as a freedom fighter. The
longer he is held, the more he is seen as
bearing the cross of the Igbo people, and
the more the persecution perception of the
Igbo takes on greater reality.


The continued incarceration of Nnamdi
Kanu will continue to be an issue for
concern. The most reasonable way to end
the IPOB protests is to release Nnamdi
Kanu and ultimately halt the circle of
violence and bloodletting occasioned by the
frequent clashes between security agencies
and the group.

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