The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) led by Chief Audu Ogbeh has described Nnamdi Kanu as a man without credibility who can’t be trusted to keep his end of the bargain if the government decides to pardon him and grant him amnesty.
To this end, the group has called on the federal government not to pardon the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who is currently in custody but ensure he faces justice in the court of law.
The submission was made on Monday on behalf of ACF by its National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe who called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore all calls and appeals for amnesty to be granted to the detained Biafra agitator.
He said the rule of law must be obeyed and Buhari must refrain from interfering in the works of other arms of the government which in this case is the judiciary.
Yawe who made his submission during an interview with Punch based his argument on the fact that Kanu had once jumped bail in 2017 and escaped from the country before he was re-arrested in 2021.
Naija News recalls some Igbo leaders led by a First Republic Minister of Aviation Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, on Friday visited President Buhari in the Aso Rock and appealed for the unconditional release of Kanu.
Though the President told them they made a difficult and huge request, he promised to consider their appeal.
But the ACF through its spokesperson has now cautioned the President against considering such a request for Kanu to be freed, instead, Yawe said he must be made to face trial.
“What would happen to the case against him (Kanu)? The case would be thrown away? If he (Buhari) releases him that will be the end of the case. We have a democracy and there is due process of law; there is separation of power between the judiciary and the executive. If somebody is taken to court, it is now left for the judiciary to say the person is guilty or not.
“The President who is part of the executive cannot take a case to court and then adjudge it himself by releasing the person and say he (Kanu) should go free. We stand by the rule of law.
“When Kanu was re-arrested, we cautioned that he should not be given extrajudicial trial; we said he should be tried by the provisions of the law and now we find it strange that somebody who was accused would be released without trial.”
“How can you trust somebody who jump bail and you caught him and bring him to try him again? A serving Senator and important member of the society stood bail for him and he (Kanu) didn’t show up in court,” Yawe argued.
Yawe made an ethnic comparison of the situation when he said the request for Kanu’s release can be likened to asking the President to also release criminal herdsmen that have been arrested for causing harm to other members of the society.
“If Buhari starts releasing herdsmen who are caught harassing people, they would complain that he is doing it because he is a Fulani man but now they are putting pressure on him to release an Igbo man who has also been caught harassing other Nigerians. It is not right,” he questioned.
He submitted further that ACF does not support any person, tribe, or group causing problems in the society including ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members should be granted amnesty but believes such should face the full wrath of the law.
“As far as Arewa Consultative Forum is concerned, those amnesties are not correct and we have started so. Audu Ogbeh issued a statement when these Boko Haram people said they are reformed and wanted amnesty. They should be tried, they should not be given any amnesty,” he explained.
“The President was elected as a Democratic President; he should act as a Democratic President and not a military man; he should follow the rule of law,” he noted.