- President Buhari has said he is not considering the option of releasing the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu as some Igbo leaders earlier requested
- The Nigerian leader said rather than release Kanu, he is giving the separatist leader the opportunity to defend himself in court
- Nevertheless, President Buhari who said he does not want to interfere with the judiciary said he is also not ruling out a political solution
Aso Rock, Abuja - President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), should defend himself in court for peddling false information about his administration while he was overseas.
The president stated this in an interview aired on Channels Television on Wednesday night, January 5.
Legit.ng recalls that some respected Igbo elders had earlier visited the president in Aso Rock and requested the unconditional release of the detained secessionist leader.
During the meeting, President Buhari told the Igbo leaders that he would not want to interfere in the running of the judiciary but promised to consider their "heavy" demand.
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We're giving Kanu opportunity to defend himself
Speaking on the issue again on Wednesday, President Buhari reiterated that he does not want to interfere with the judiciary.
“There is one institution that I wouldn’t interfere with, that is the judiciary, Kanu’s case is with the judiciary but what I wonder is when Kanu was safely in Europe, abusing this administration and mentioning too many things, I thought he wants to come and defend himself on the accusations.
“So, we are giving him an opportunity to defend himself in our system, not to be abusing us from Europe as if he was not a Nigerian. Let him come here with us and then criticise us here. Nigerians know that I don’t interfere with the judiciary, let him be listened to. But those who are saying that he should be released, no, we cannot release him.”
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There is room for political solution
Despite his stance that Kanu won't be released, President Buhari did not rule out the possibility of a political solution.
When asked about the possibility for political solution, he said:
“There is a possibility of political solution. If people behave themselves, all well and good but you can’t go to a foreign country and keep on sending incorrect economic and security problems (sic) against our country and thinking that you would not account for what you have been doing. Let him account for what he has been doing.”
What Buhari will consider before granting request for Nnamdi Kanu’s release
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Tuesday, January 4, stated that President Buhari has the best interest of the generality of Nigerians before taking some decision.
Malami, during an interview on Tuesday, noted that this is what the president will consider before granting the request of southeast leaders for the release of Kanu.
He stated that President Buhari will have to look into how granting the request will make for the good of over 200 million Nigerians.