The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, says the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, cannot be pardoned when he hasn’t been convicted by a competent court of law.
Malami stated that it is too early to talk about pardoning Kanu because the pro-Biafra activist is still in court standing trial for treasonable felony and acts of terrorism charges.
Naija News reports that Malami made the submission during an appearance on Channels Television on Wednesday night.
Kanu is facing an amended 7-count charge bordering on treasonable felony and acts of terrorism which were brought against him by the Federal Government after his re-arrest and repatriation to Nigeria in June this year.
The IPOB leader has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) from where he attends his court sessions in Abuja amidst heavy security.
Justice Binta Nyako had adjourned Kanu’s case till January 19 and 20, 2022, for trial.
However, the IPOB leader is set to appear in an emergency court session scheduled for today, in what some sources say is a move to grant the Biafra activist bail.
Speaking on the calls to release Kanu, Malami submitted that he does not know if the move would contribute to the healing of the South-East.
He said, “I have not accessed the security situation of that in terms of being a solution.”
The minister stated that the out-of-court settlement to free the IPOB leader has not been discussed with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “Pardon is a function of conviction in the Nigerian context and as far as I know, Nnamdi Kanu has not been convicted yet so the idea of pardoning him is premature against the backdrop that the trials associated with him have not been concluded but one thing I can tell you is that he is standing trial and the trial continues as at today. I am not ruling out any possibility but the out-of-court or political solution is not immediately on the table.”
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