• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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South-East governors to meet Tinubu over Nnamdi Kanu’s release

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The South-East Governors Forum has announced its intention to secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

In a communiqué issued after a closed-door meeting at the Government House in Enugu on Tuesday, the governors resolved to meet with President Bola Tinubu.

Kanu, who faces terrorism charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja, has been in detention since his rearrest in June 2021 and subsequent repatriation from Kenya.

Governors from Imo, Ebonyi, Abia, and Anambra—Hope Uzodimma, Francis Nwifuru, Alex Otti, and Charles Soludo—attended the meeting hosted by Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State.

The forum not only aims to secure Kanu’s release but also addresses the pressing issue of insecurity in the South-East region.

“The forum resolved to visit Mr President (Tinubu) to discuss pressing issues concerning the South-east region.

“The forum also resolved to interface with the federal government to secure the release of Mr Nnamdi Kanu,” Uzodimma, the chairman of the forum, said while reading the communique.

During the meeting, the forum received a solidarity visit from a delegation including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Commonwealth Secretary-General Emeka Anyaoku, and the Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Achebe.

Also, the forum discussed the reviewed report of the South-East Security and Economic Summit held in Owerri, Imo State, on September 28, 2023. They committed to implementing the report’s recommendations related to security and economic integration in the region.

In a somber moment, the forum expressed condolences to the people of the South-East over the loss of former minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu.

The forum established a burial committee, with former Senate President Pius Anyim as the head and former minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi serving as secretary.

This marks the first public announcement by the South-East Governors Forum regarding their plan to seek Kanu’s release since his rearrest and repatriation from Kenya.

Despite repeated appeals from South-East leaders, including Governors Soludo and Mbah, the Nigerian government had previously ignored requests for Kanu’s release.

Notably, the Court of Appeal in Abuja ruled on October 13, 2022, that Kanu’s extraordinary rendition to Nigeria violated the country’s extradition treaty and his fundamental human rights.

Although the court struck out the terrorism charges against him, the government later appealed the ruling, leading to a Supreme Court order staying the execution.

On December 15, 2023, the Supreme Court reversed Kanu’s acquittal, ensuring the continuation of his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.