Thursday, June 13, 2024

We’re working underground for Nnamdi Kanu’s release: Deputy Speaker Kalu

Mr Kalu hinted that arrangements were ongoing to ensure the separatist, who had been agitating for a Biafra nation, regains his freedom from jail.

• January 2, 2024
Nnamdi Kanu
Nnamdi Kanu

The deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, says the embattled leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, currently facing charges, would soon be released from prison.

Mr Kalu, who spoke on Tuesday, hinted that arrangements, especially underground talks, were ongoing to ensure the separatist, who had been agitating for a Biafra nation, regains his freedom from jail.

“We can’t put all our programmes and plans on social media. He’s (Kanu) my brother. Is he in the mix of what we are trying to do? Yes! It’s one of our agendas to ensure he’s released. Who wants their brother to be in jail?” said Mr Kalu.

“We are working underground. There’s a detailed strategy. It’s not by violence; you can’t coerce the government through violence. It has never worked and won’t work. Let’s be wiser. The wisdom is in peace. Let’s quench the violence,” said the deputy speaker, who appeared in a virtual current affairs programme tagged South-East Political Roundtable.

Mr Kalu’s assurance to the supporters of the IPOB leader, especially the agitated youths, came after the Supreme Court’s ruling, delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, overturned the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal, which discharged and acquitted Mr Kanu of all charges related to terrorism.

The Supreme Court had sided with the federal government’s appeal, challenging the Appeal Court’s directive for Mr Kanu’s release earlier in October 2023 despite argument from the defence counsels.

Mr Kanu, who was arrested in 2015 on charges of boarding on treason and terrorism, had jumped bail in 2017 but was re-apprehended and extradited from Kenya to Nigeria in 2021.

Advising the youths of the South-East region to stop violence, particularly the sit-at-home exercise, which continued to paralyse economic activities, Mr Kalu said it would give President Bola Tinubu the listening ears to consider the release of the IPOB leader from prison.

“If it’s chaotic, it won’t work. Let’s cool down. Let the man (President Tinubu) see that you have recognised he didn’t contribute to locking him up and that he has not done anything to the South-East. We should support him and his government and not attack him,” he added.

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra state, while congratulating Mr Tinubu over his election victory in the February 25, 2023 exercise, asked for the release of Mr Kanu from detention.

Mr Soludo said Mr Kanu was a “crucial stakeholder” in the realisation of sustainable peace in the South-East region.

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