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Aloy Ejimakor, a counsel to detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has insisted that the unconditional release of his client lies with the Executive arm of government and not the Judiciary.
The Eastern Updates recalls that Kanu had fled Nigeria in 2017, jumping bail, after his Afaraukwu home in Abia State was invaded by soldiers. Extradited from Kenya in June, he is facing trial bordering on treason at an Abuja court.
However, last week, Some Igbo leaders, led by 93-year-old first republic parliamentarian and minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, had last week met with President Muhammadu Buhari, and requested for Kanu’s unconditional release.
President Buhari was quoted to have described the request as a difficult and heavy one. He hinged his assertion on the premise that the request ran contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive and Judiciary, and cited his policy of non-interference with the judiciary.
However, Ejimakor, in a statement, quoting section 174 of the Nigerian Constitution as amended, said the unconditional release of Kanu lies with the executive and not the judiciary.
Section 174 of the Constitution said inter Alia, “The Attorney General of the Federation shall have power:
(a) ‘to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in respect of any offence created by or under any Act of the National Assembly.
(b) ‘to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other authority or person; and
(c) ‘to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaking by him or any other authority or person.”
Kanu’s counsel said since the Constitution in sub section C of section 174 gave the attorney general and minister of justice to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered in any criminal proceedings, it would not amount to interference by the executive should Kanu’s case be discontinued.
He, therefore, called on the president to act divisively in the instant case as he would not be acting contrary to the Constitution or interfering in the affairs of the judiciary.
THE EASTERN UPDATES