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Former US envoy cautions Nigeria over Nnamdi Kanu, warns on far-reaching implications of flouting Appeal Court ruling

A former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has cautioned the Nigerian authorities against the far-reaching implications of flouting the Appeal Court judgment which discharged and acquitted the leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, of terrorism charge preferred against him by the federal government.


Campbell, in a tweet, noted that Nigeria misfired by embarking on the extraordinary rendition of Kanu from Kenya last year, reports The Nation.


The former envoy cautioned that the country cannot afford any more “mishandling” of the matter.


According to him, the safety and security of the nation depend largely on the outcome of Kanu’s matter.


Kanu’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, who was reacting to Campbell’s tweet, said in a statement that “Nigeria’s disobedience of a 2018 decision of a continental tribunal on Kanu was the first ‘mishandling.’”


Ejimakor said Nigeria should not set a bad precedent as a country of lawlessness by not complying with the order of a court of competent jurisdiction on Kanu’s release.


His statement reads: “The extraordinary rendition was the second. Putting Kanu on trial was the third. Disobeying the United Nations (UN) was the fourth. And the likelihood of disobeying the judgment of the Court of Appeal will be the fifth.”


Ejimakor urged “Nigerians of means and influence, and the international community to intervene in persuading President Buhari to promptly comply with the court order which discharged Kanu from all the criminal charges pending against him.”


The lawyer also recalled that “President Buhari had, on two occasions, promised to obey any court order that bears on the release of Kanu”, adding: “A promise of this sort is a debt.”


Also, elder statesman and Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate release of the leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.


He said this would ensure peace in the country, particularly the Southeast. In a statement yesterday in Warri, Delta State, Clark said the stance of the Federal Government on the matter was rather “needless and imperious”.


The Ijaw leader noted that Kanu’s release from detention would expose those perpetrating the kidnappings and horrifying killings of security officers and other innocent citizens in the Southeast.


Following the Appeal Court judgment, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had said that Kanu was not acquitted of the charges for which he was facing trial.


The National Security Council, at its meeting last Friday, also concurred with Malami that the IPOB leader was only discharged.


Clark said: “I consider this stance of the federal government as rather imperious and needless. I, therefore, earnestly call on President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the judgment of the Court of Appeal and order the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu in the interest of peace in the country, the Southeast in particular.”


The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) convener warned that the Federal Government’s continuous hold on Kanu may provide the “pretext for malefactors to continue to take advantage of the situation in perpetrating all sorts of atrocities in the zone.”


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