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FG Unlikely To Enter Talks, Free Nnamdi Kanu – Stakeholders

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The olive branch extended by Nnamdi Kanu, detained leader of the IPOB, has been met with doubt and uncertainty, as stakeholders wonder if President Bola Tinubu’s administration is genuinely committed to exploring a negotiated settlement, leaving the fate of a peaceful resolution In jeopardy.

Lagos-based lawyer, Barrister Emeka Iheonu, argues that embracing Kanu’s willingness to negotiate would have been a savvy move to address the economic challenges facing the South-East, exacerbated by the sit-at-home protests.

“Though former President Muhammadu Buhari refused to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention after his abduc­tion from Kenya even despite a court ruling in October 2022 ordering his release, there have been calls on President Bola Tinubu since his inaugu­ration in May, 2023 to release Mazi Kanu. A year later, the president has not heeded the said calls.

“In March, 2024, a Feder­al High Court judge denied Nnamdi Kanu bail. I believe he has appealed.

“However, more bodies like Ohaneze Ndigbo, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), etc, have also called for his release.

“The latest is the call by Chief Edwin Clark, an elder statesman.

“Kanu’s release, in my opin­ion, will pave the way to eco­nomic prosperity and security in the South East.

“His continued detention has been the major cause of insecurity in the South East.

“The Monday sit-at-home has paralysed the economy of the South East by making many businesses lose billions of naira every week,” he said.

With his characteristic gravitas, Chief Edwin Clark, an elder statesman, has backed the renewed calls for Kanu’s release, further amplifying the chorus of support.

Julius Adegunna, a media executive and public affairs analyst, said: “If you can re­call what Nnamdi Kanu did during ENDSARS crisis, most especially against the person­ality and business of Senator Ahmed Tinubu as a former La­gos State governor, President Tinubu will not jump at freeing the IPOB leader.

Read also: Hands Off Nnamdi Kanu’s Case, IPOB Urge Justice Nyako

“Besides, it does not seem as if Kanu’s IPOB followers are ready to allow peace to reign with what they are doing in the South East.

“They need to humble themselves before the Nige­rian government to allow peace to reign. You cannot be pleading for an accused person standing trial and be causing trouble at the same time.

“So, whoever wants to plead for Kanu should be sure that peace reigns before and after their requests, which will lead to his eventual release by the court. I wish them all the best.”

According to Barrister Blessing Joseph Afang, a human rights lawyer, the path to securing Nnamdi Kanu’s release on bail is fraught with difficulties, as she shared her analysis with Sunday Independent.

Barrister Blessing Joseph Afang, a seasoned human rights lawyer, shared her concerns with Sunday Independent, highlighting the challenges that lie ahead in Nnamdi Kanu’s quest for bail.

Barrister Afang, President, the International Human Rights Protection Service Florida, USA, Nigeria Chap­ter (IHRPS/F), stressed: “The Supreme Court of Nigeria up­held the Federal Government appeal.

“The Supreme Court set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which or­dered the release of Kanu and then ordered the resumption of his trial before the Federal High Court, Abuja, on terror­ism related charges.

Meanwhile, Hon. Charles Anike, the National President of Eastern Union (EU), has said that the organisation supports Nnamdi Kanu’s consideration for out-of-court settlement with the Federal Government.

From his Abuja base, Hon. Anike shared with Sunday Independent that the EU, a significant political player advocating for the welfare of the old Eastern Region, has expressed its support for the contentious plan, characterizing it as a necessary evil to salvage the South East from the brink of collapse.

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