Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), Civil rights advocacy group has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The group demanded Kanu’s release in compliance with the unambiguous judgment of the Court of Appeal instead of watching his health deteriorate to such a poor state inside DSS cell.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement on Monday asked whether the Jibrin of Sudan comment by Kanu was the reason the President has chosen to deny Kanu bail despite that the appellate court granted him the same.
Buhari, in a documentary shown Friday night, had said he did not find it funny that many of his country’s citizens believed the rumour that he was dead and had been replaced with a lookalike named Jibrin who was from Sudan.
“Yes! People said I am somebody from Sudan. I didn’t bother with the name. Nigerians have mischievous ways of explaining themselves,” Buhari said.
When asked if he found the rumour funny, Mr Buhari said: “No. It’s not funny. Because those who made those statements, they just want to be cheeky. They want to distract attention from the main issue.”
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said the confession by Buhari on the Jibrin of Sudan comment by Kanu which gained traction during the President’s first term when he spent months attending to his health in the United Kingdom could be one of the chief reasons the President decided to keep Kanu in the custody of the Department of State Services 19 months after he was arrested and brought into the country from Kenya.
Onwubiko added that at a meeting with Ebonyi State Stakeholders’ Forum held at the Government House in Abakaliki in May, Buhari had said a political solution to Kanu’s travails was impossible and insisted that only the court will decide his fate, noting that 19 months after his arrest, the administration had failed to free Kanu, despite the decision of the Appeal Court.
“With Buhari’s latest confession on the story of Jibrin of Sudan, one begins to ask what is fueling his hatred for Nnamdi Kanu so much so that he reject an Appellate judgment freeing Nnamdi Kanu and has remained intransigence even when Nnamdi Kanu’s health has deteriorated dangerously?
“One of Kanu’s lawyers, Aloy Ejimakor, on Saturday said the IPOB leader needed heart surgery for a valve replacement. It is only proper for the Federal Government to release the detained agitator so he can get emergency medical attention,” Onwubiko said.
HURIWA condemns the intransigence of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to respect the clear, unambiguous and straightforward verdict of the Appellate Court quashing the charges of terrorism instituted by the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Abubakar Malami who has also on many occasions used the media of mass communication to demonise Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is clearly a prisoner of conscience. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration probably wants the South East of Nigeria to go up in firestorm and crises that will be precipitated by any eventuality that may come the way of Nnamdi Kanu whose health situation has degenerated due to criminal negligence by this federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari. President Muhammadu Buhari should release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu now.