Charles Soludo, the governor of Anambra State, requested that the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, serve as sureties for Nnamdi Kanu, the head of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Mr. Kanu has been in the forefront of a separatist movement for an independent Biafra.
The Biafran Republic, according to Mr. Kanu, would be made up of Igbo-speaking individuals from the south-east of Nigeria and a few southern states.
The intelligence agency of Nigeria initially detained the IPOB leader in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, in 2015.
The Abuja Court of Appeal has quashed Mr. Kanu’s trial on terrorist and treason charges.
On October 13, the appellate court ruled that Mr. Kanu’s extraordinary extradition from Kenya to Nigeria in June had violated both his fundamental human rights and Nigeria’s extradition treaty. The court ruled that the trial was void due to the government’s action.
The State Security Service of Nigeria’s secret police was ordered to release him by the court (SSS).
But while the federal government pursues its appeal at the Supreme Court in an effort to get the allegations against him reinstated, Mr. Kanu remains in custody.
However, there have been requests for the release of the IPOB leader from several sources.
On January 15, at the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) presidential campaign flag-off in Awka, Anambra State, Governor Soludo joined the list of people demanding Mr. Kanu’s release.
The IPOB leader should be released to him, according to Mr. Soludo, if Mr. Kanu cannot be released by the Nigerian government without conditions.
Anambra governor’s request not before federal government
The Attorney-General said in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday that he had not received Mr. Soludo’s request.
“No such formal request has been made to the federal government or the legal system.
According to Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), “As of today, January 18, 2023, I am not in receipt of any application deriving from the public remark made by the governor of Anambra State (Chukwuma Soludo), either through the legal process or extended to me as the AGF.”
The correct method via which any request or, possibly, concession can be given for consideration is through the judicial process, according to Mr. Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
He continued by saying that the Attorney-General “has not been formally summoned for the consideration of the repeated appeal for Mr. Kanu’s release.”
In 2017, Mr. Kanu, who was charged with terrorism by Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, was granted bail.
However, the IPOB leader’s Afara-Ukwu residence near Umuahia, Abia State, was raided by the Nigerian Army on September 14, 2017, during which 18 civilians were killed, according to Mike Ozekhome, Mr. Kanu’s attorney, during a court proceeding.
After Mr. Kanu departed the nation as a result of the invasion, Mrs. Nyako, the trial judge, issued an arrest warrant for the IPOB leader.
Alloy Ejimakor, one of Mr. Kanu’s attorneys, referred to the IPOB leader’s flight during the invasion as following the “rule of self-preservation.”
However, Mrs. Nyako withdrew Mr. Kanu’s bail for skipping his trial, and she mandated that his case be heard separately from those of his co-defendants.
The trial of Mr. Kanu has been postponed since 2017, while that of the other defendants has made some progress.
On June 29, 2021, Mr. Malami announced Mr. Kanu’s arrest and repatriation from Kenya to Nigeria after nearly four years away. He was joined by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, and SSS representatives in the announcement.
After being re-arrested before Mrs. Nyako on 15 counts of terrorism and treasonable felonies, the court dismissed eight of the accusations in April 2021 after the IPOB leader contested their legality.
The leader of the secession movement then petitioned the Court of Appeal to overturn the remaining seven counts.
The Court of Appeal panel ruled in unanimity in October of last year that Mr. Kanu’s forcible return to Nigeria violated both domestic and international law.
It claimed that the IPOB leader’s unlawful repatriation to Nigeria rendered the charges against him for terrorism ineffective and illegitimate.
SSS is holding Mr. Kanu in its facility in Abuja, the nation’s capital, after bringing him back to Nigeria last year.
A date for the hearing of the federal government’s appeal contesting the Court of Appeal verdict ordering the release of the IPOB leader has not yet been set by Nigeria’s Supreme Court.