The Abia State government has declared that it is monitoring the court trial of the re-arrested IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The state government noted that it believes according to the constitution that everyone is innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.
It added that the state government remains in touch with Kanu’s family and all other relevant stakeholders on the matter.
The statement on Friday by the state Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu added that it believes Kanu will get a fair trial before the federal high court in Abuja where he is standing trial for charges brought against him by the federal government.
Similarly, the statement also reacted to the threat by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to lock down the southeast region every Monday until its leader Kanu is released by the federal government.
The Commissioner noted that while the freedom of movement of everyone is guaranteed by the constitution, the declaration by IPOB could be an infringement of the rights and freedom of other people.
Rather than enforce a lockdown as threatened, it urged the group to rather engage in dialogue on how to resolve issues and allow people to open their shops, go to the markets and places of work in order to earn a living for themselves.
It warned every resident of the state not to engage in any unlawful activity.
Below is the full statement.
“Abia State Government is actively monitoring the situation with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is an indigene of the state and is currently under trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja, with a view to ensuring that his fundamental human rights, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic, are respected.”
We remain in touch with his family members, other relevant persons, and institutions, and receive regular updates through them on the situation.”
“The Abia State Government is confident that the judiciary will ensure a free and manifestly fair trial for him and others as they remain innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.”
“We, therefore, wish to call on all citizens and visitors to continue to be law-abiding and avoid any act that might lead to a breakdown of law and order.”
“While Government will not compel anyone wishing to sit at home for any reason whatsoever not to do so, as citizens have freedom of movement under the extant Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we wish to strongly advice that nobody should also compel or enforce any sit at home order from any non-state actor as doing so does not serve any known interests of the people of the state.”
“Furthermore, compelling our children to stay away from school can only serve the interests of the yet to be properly identified persons who may not want to see us make progress as a people.”
“Similarly, our traders sitting at home at a time they need to work very hard to sustain their families and create wealth especially in this era of COVID-19 impacted global economy will obviously not serve any development interest of our hardworking citizens.”
“All law-abiding citizens and visitors are therefore called upon to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation as adequate security has been provided to ensure their safety. Parents and guardians are also called upon to ensure that they monitor the activities of their children and wards with a view to ensuring that they do not engage in unlawful activities that will put them in harm’s way.”