By Favour Goodness
Legal luminary, Chief Mike Ahamba, has advised those seeking political solution to the case of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to look the way of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN).
This is coming as Igbo Lawyers Association (ILA) has vowed to fight for and defend the fundamental rights of Kanu, who is currently facing trial over alleged sedition.
Ahamba said it was only the office of the Attorney General, after due diligence, that can approach a court to stop further prosecution in a matter.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said the denial of the detained IPOB leader from changing his clothes and exercising his rights while in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) were against the law.
An emergency court sitting on Wednesday had, among others things, ordered that Kanu be given maximum comfort possible in the detention facility, and also be allowed a change of clothing and free practice of his Jewish faith, including access to his Jewish religious materials.
The court further ordered that the DSS obey all previous orders granted in the matter, including allowing Kanu any visitor of his choice and that the IPOB leader be permitted, at his option, to mingle freely with other inmates or any other persons at the detention facility.
Reacting to the development, Ahamba noted that the AGF as well as the judge handling the case had all agreed on some fundamental issues.
He said that it was a fundamental right of any detainee in custody to be allowed to exercise certain rights that will not infringe on the final determination of the case for which he was being held, and called on Kanu’s custodians to accord him same in line with the directives of the trial judge.
He, however, advised Igbo leaders seeking his release, to prepare well for a possible discussion with the Federal Government on what they will offer in return. “They have to be prepared to assure the government that there would be peace and the things that made for destruction of lives and properties in the South-East would not reoccur when he gets released.
“We have suffered so much in this area due to the issues at stake. The question will be whether those asking for his immediate release will be prepared to urge him to drop the demands that are causing the problems in the South-East?
“The President has no power to stop an ongoing matter in the court. Only the Attorney General of the Federation can approach a court to apply for “non prosecui”, on being sure that such matter will not cause problem in future.
“We must tell ourselves the truth on what is happening and ask ourselves what we will gain from them,” he stated. He then urged Ndigbo to be wary of actions they take in order that such acts do not come back to haunt and destroy them in future.
Chairman of ILA, Chief Chuks Muoma (SAN) said that Kanu had not committed any offence and should not be treated as a common criminal. He stressed that even the worst of suspected criminals are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Mouma maintained that political solution remains the best option in solving the Kanu issue.
But the Igbo National Movement (INM) said the AGF’s comment was not worth losing sleep over, just as it noted that Kanu’s delayed trial would only strengthen the agitation for the Independent State of Biafra. National President of INM, Olisa Okolo said: “The AGF has put himself and the Federation in a tight corner. As we can see, they are unable to proceed with the trial due to the many delays which are inherent in the Nigerian legal system but with each delay, the calls for a political solution will grow stronger.
“What the AGF has succeeded in doing is to give Kanu a larger stage to keep the discussion going on his Biafran agitation and the general plight of Ndigbo. Each day the trial continues, the calls for self-determination grow stronger, and Ndigbo become ever more united. “The AGF is sadly out of his depth in political maneuvers and goes from one blunder to another. It is unlikely his advice will hold sway on a political solution. In due course, he must respect the will of the people.”
Meanwhile, the Igbo National Congress (INC) has urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, grant amnesty to Kanu and make peace with the people of South-East. President of the group, Chilos Godsent, stated that the continued trial of Kanu, contrary to the views of the Attorney General, could only endanger the peace in the country.
Insisting on political solution as the best option to solve the festering problem in the South-East, he demanded the unconditional release of Kanu, Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Igboho and other political prisoners.
“INC therefore urges the Federal Government of Nigeria to swallow its pride and seek political solutions to address the issues of agitations for self-determination across Nigeria.”