US lawmaker urges Supreme Court to release Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally

A United States of America House of Representatives member, District 139, Jarvis Johnson, has urged the Supreme Court to unconditionally release leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, whose case of extraordinary rendition from Kenya is due for ruling on December 15.

A statement by the US lawmaker said consensus of legal opinion within and outside Nigeria expects the apex court to uphold the judgements of the lower courts which had earlier freed Kanu.

Johnson equally reminded the apex court that on October 30, 2023, a high court in Enugu State had held that the classification of IPOB by the South East Governors and the Federal Government as a terrorist organisation contravenes section 42 of the Nigerian constitution.

“It follows that the present and any future treatment of IPOB, its leadership and members as a terrorist group is illegal, and discriminatory. Therefore, there is now no valid legal basis for the continued solitary confinement of MNK.”

On why Kanu should be released, Johnson said: “Kanu was extraordinarily renditioned by the Government of Nigeria from Kenya on June 27, 2021.

“Then, and now, he is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a non-violent group, advocating for an internationally supervised referendum to resolve the Biafran issue within the Nigeria polity.

“Many other Nigerian courts which had previously decided on the matter, including a high court in Umuhia, Abia State, and the Court of Appeal in Abuja, had also reached similar conclusions, and have ordered the immediate and unconditional release of MNK.”

While stating the facts, he also insisted that rendition is illegal and that there was no pending legal action against Kanu.

“There is no pending legal matter against MNK. On July 20, 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council issued an opinion which found that MNK’s solitary confinement was in violation of the International Human Rights Conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory and called for his immediate and unconditional release.

“That MNK was extraordinarily renditioned is not in dispute; and that extraordinary rendition is illegal under Nigerian and international law is also not in dispute. I, therefore, call on the Nigerian Supreme Court to uphold or affirm the considered judgments of its subordinate courts, and of many international tribunals, by ordering the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Kanu.

This anticipated ruling will hasten the process of restoring confidence in the Nigerian judiciary, of which the Supreme Court is the leader.”

Ahead of the Supreme Court ruling, IPOB has challenged President Tinubu to prove he is not pursuing ethnic cleansing against the Igbo by releasing the leader of the group, Kanu unconditionally.

A statement by the spokesperson of the group, yesterday, also noted that the Igbo were eager to celebrate Christmas with him after his release.

The statement read in part: “President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and his government have the opportunity to prove to Ndigbo that he is not pursuing an ethnic cleansing agenda by releasing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from illegal detention by the DSS in the coming days or through the pronouncement of the apex court of Nigeria.

“Ndigbo at home and in the Diaspora are waiting to welcome Kanu home this December for the Christmas celebration. Whether Nigeria believes it or not, Kanu is the face of Biafra, and the Igbo nation.

“His pains are the pains of Biafrans, and his joy is the joy of Biafrans. The only people who despise Mazi Kanu are the criminals, the kidnappers, the insecurity profiteers, the enemies of peace, and all the enemies of the Biafran nation and even Nigeria.

“Kanu controls millions of followers across the globe. His lovers and supporters will be very happy if the government of President Tinubu releases him unconditionally on or before December 15, 2023.”

Powerful also reiterated that Kanu is not a security threat and should be released unconditionally.

“It will be ironic that President Tinubu and the Supreme Court justices will hide under the pretence that some interested persons do not want Kanu released or hide under the bogus claims of national security risk as an excuse not to release him.

“As long as the world is concerned, Kanu is not a national security threat to Nigeria. He and IPOB have been peaceful, and that is why more than 100 nations of the world authorised the IPOB movement in their countries.

“The eyes of the world are on the Supreme Court justices of Nigeria. It is not only Kanu that will be on trial on December 15, 2023, but the Nigeria Supreme Court, the UN law on Self-determination, the African Charter on Human and People’s Right, and  the international laws on extradition, will also be on trial.

“The Nigeria Supreme Court will either save the Nigeria judiciary’s battered image by going with the rule of law on December 15, 2023, or bend to the pressure from men of selfish interest and slide Nigeria into anarchy by endorsing illegality and keeping Kanu in detention.

More so, if President Tinubu allows himself to be used by saying some people from the South East advised him not to release Kanu, that means he has outsourced his authority and lacks power as the president of Nigeria.

“The Supreme Court justices should do Nigeria and themselves a favour by releasing Kanu. Posterity will be kind to the justices, who will do the needful and release Kanu, a prisoner of conscience.

“The release of Kanu will restore peace in the eastern region and give joy to Ndigbo and all Biafrans. But, his continued persecution and illegal detention will further endanger the safety and security of Nigeria, and in particular, the entire Biafran territory.”

Recommended For You

About the Author: Akelicious

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *