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Release Nnamdi Kanu before Christmas, HURIWA tells Buhari

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
23 December 2021   |   3:08 am
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to release the leader

[FILES] Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu during his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ATEKO

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to release the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, being held in the Department of State Services (DSS) custody in Abuja before Christmas.

It reminded the President that his integrity and credibility would be called to question if he failed to keep his promise to consider releasing Kanu, who has been detained in the DSS facility in Abuja.

In a statement issued, yesterday, in Abuja, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media, Zainab Yusuf, asked President Buhari to give a Christmas present to the South East by releasing Kanu before Christmas.

The rights group said releasing Kanu would be the beginning of sober reflection and negotiations for lasting peace in the South East and the entire country.

“HURIWA hereby reminds President Buhari that, as someone who has seen it all and has served the country in different capacities, it will be disheartening not to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to end any public prosecution in the interest of Nigerians.

“When confronted with an appeal for Kanu’s release, the President, who gave the positive signal of his (Kanu’s) imminent freedom, has spent ample time without keeping the promise he made to statesmen from the South East region,” the statement reads.

The group recalled that President Buhari said: “I feel it is even a favour to give him that opportunity,” thereby giving hope to the delegation of South East group led by First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, who visited him in Abuja to intercede for Kanu.

It also recapped that the President said although he would consider the request for the IPOB leader’s unconditional release it was a rather difficult demand, as the matter was already in court.

President Buhari added that the Igbo leaders made a difficult request and that the implication of their request was serious, adding: “In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered with the work of the judiciary.”

HURIWA recalled that turning to 92-year old Amaechi, the President said: “God has spared you and given you a clear head at this age, with a very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. Your demand is heavy, but I will consider it.”