The proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has strongly criticized Asari Dokubo, the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force (NDPSF), for advocating the prolonged detention of Nnamdi Kanu. Kanu, the leader of IPOB, has been held in custody on terrorism charges since his extradition from Kenya on June 19, 2021.
In a recent statement shared with TheCable, Emma Powerful, the spokesperson for IPOB, expressed dismay at individuals who are exploiting Kanu’s unlawful detention to gain favor and secure lucrative contracts in the corridors of power at Aso Rock. Powerful cautioned against using Kanu’s name as a bargaining chip and reminded them of the perils that lie ahead.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is the only innocent political prisoner in Nigeria, a victim of ethnic profiling and prejudice,” the proscribed separatist group asserted. “He has not committed any crime that is recognized under local and international laws. The Nigerian government must release him unconditionally, as mandated by the courts, or face the consequences of flouting the rule of law.”
In a significant turn of events, the court of appeal in Abuja nullified the terrorism charge leveled against Kanu in October 2022. The appellate court ruled that Kanu’s extradition from Kenya to Nigeria, which precipitated his trial, was illegal. Subsequently, the federal government filed an appeal with the supreme court, contesting the judgement. Additionally, an amended charge was filed before a federal high court.
To further complicate matters, the federal government submitted a stay of execution application to the appellate court, which was granted. The supreme court initially heard the case in May, but due to ongoing proceedings, the adjournment was granted, pushing the next hearing date to September 14.
The protracted legal battle surrounding Kanu’s detention has drawn widespread attention and sparked heated debates across the country. Supporters of Kanu and IPOB argue for his release, emphasizing his innocence and the need to adhere to the principles of justice. On the other hand, those advocating for his continued detention cite national security concerns and the gravity of the charges leveled against him.
As the legal process continues to unfold, the fate of Nnamdi Kanu hangs in the balance, leaving his supporters anxious for a swift resolution. The controversy surrounding his detention has underscored the deeply entrenched divisions within Nigeria and the urgent need for dialogue to address the grievances of various ethnic and regional groups in the country.