Politics

50 Nigerian lawmakers beg Tinubu to release Nnamdi Kanu

About 50 members of the House of Representatives have written a letter to President Bola Tinubu, seeking the release of the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Penpushing reports that Hon Ikenga Ugochinyere, representing Ideato Federal Constituency, made the disclosure explaining that the members of the House of Representatives are seeking the release based on Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution.

The federal lawmaker on behalf of his colleagues explained that the section of the constitution gives the Attorney General of the Federation the power to discontinue cases based on public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.

Lush Arena

Penpushing further reports that Ugochinyere in the statement added that himself and other colleagues representing different political parties and geopolitical zones, believe that Kanu’s release is an important step to restoring peace in the South-East.

The federal lawmaker  stated that the letter, dated June 19, 2024 and signed by the 50 lawmakers, was addressed to President Tinubu, but, however, produced names of 44 signatories in the said letter, as it is said  that the letter was issued by 23 members of the Labour Party (LP), ten members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), nine members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), three All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) members, and one New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) member

Penpushing also reports that a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker from Yobe State Hon Muhammed Jagere, confirmed the authenticity of the letter, admitting that he was one of the lawmakers who signed the letter.

The contents of the letter as made available by Ugochinyere is produced below:

“Your Excellency, we are concerned members of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a strong belief and trust that the Renewed Hope agenda of His Excellency and the various positive reforms will be seen and felt by all. It is against this backdrop that we, the undersigned, hereby beseech Your Excellency to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, to invoke his powers of nolle prosequi under the provisions of Section 174(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, and cause the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention

and discontinue his trial, which we collectively believe is long overdue and would be instrumental in opening the door for much-needed conversations surrounding peace, reformation, and inclusivity, as well as addressing the issues that led to the agitations, especially at this time when Nigeria is going through several constitutional reforms.

“Your Excellency, we resolutely believe that this singular act can serve as a pivotal gesture towards national unity as it would address some of the political, security, and economic concerns in the region. It would encourage stakeholders from the South-East to engage more actively in the national discussions on the Renewed Hope agenda, thereby promoting inclusivity and addressing long-standing grievances. This we believe will also help in dismantling the apparatus of violence and restiveness that has plagued the region, allowing for a focus on economic growth and development. Also, it is coming at a time when the nation-state is under enormous pressure, including but not limited to unemployment, insecurity, hunger, and poverty, thereby de-escalating tension from all sides.

“Moreover, we as key actors in the Renewed Hope agenda of Your Excellency are not unmindful of the fact that Your Excellency has extended this gesture through the office of the Attorney General in the charge involving Omoyele Sowore wherein, he was charged with treasonable felony in Charge No. FHC/ABJ CR/235/2019, Sunday Igboho, etc. All these recorded tremendous successes, especially the crisis within the North-Central, North-Eastern, and South-South regions, not forgetting peace efforts in the Niger Delta region, which have helped in so many ways. The establishment of the North East Development Commission, Ministry of the Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission, Presidential Amnesty, Various Host Community Laws, etc., were all commitments to show good faith to the plight of the people as well as resolving regional conflicts.

“It is therefore our conviction that fixing the challenges in the South-East would go a long way in changing the narrative and showcasing your commitment to upholding the principles of the rule of law, justice, and fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy. It would also set a precedent for addressing issues through dialogue rather than prolonged political-cum-judicial persecution and a brass show of executive lawlessness. We, therefore, implore Your Excellency to adopt this approach, save the South-East, and pave the way for a national conversation to restore, safeguard, and better the resources and economic activities in the South-East. The primary responsibility of the government is the protection of lives and property. Facilitating the release of Nnamdi Kanu would demonstrate a commitment to upholding the principles of justice and fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy.

‘Your Excellency, the benefits of such a bold and compassionate act are manifold. It would pave the way for peace initiatives, economic revitalisation, and a renewed sense of belonging among the citizens of the South-East. It would also enhance your administration’s legacy as one that prioritises national unity, peace, and progress. We are hopeful that you will consider this request with the gravity it deserves and take the necessary steps to bring about a new era of peace and inclusivity in Nigeria. Thank you, Your Excellency, for your attention to this important matter, and we look forward to a positive response.”

Penpushing reports that the letter as made available stated names of the 44 members of the Federal House of Representatives who signed the letter, and this is also produced below

Aliyu Mustapha (PDP, Kaduna), Midala Balami (LP, Borno), Afam Ogene (LP, Anambra), Dominic Okafor (APGA, Anambra), Etanabene Benedict (LP, Delta), Shehu Dalhatu (APC, Katsina), Chinedu Martins (PDP, Imo), Matthew Nwogu (LP, Imo), Muhammed Jagere (PDP, Yobe) and Peter Aniekwe (LP, Anambra)

The list include Koki Sagir (NNPP, Kano), Amobi Oga (LP, Abia),Gwacham Chinwe (APGA, Anambra), Uchenna Okonkwo (LP, Anambra), Abdulmaleek Danga (APC, Kogi), Osi Nkemkama (LP, Ebonyi), Mark Useni (PDP, Taraba), Alexander Mascot (LP, Abia), Philip Agbese (APC, Benue) and Ginger Onwusibe (LP, Abia)

Penpushing further reports that others are Zakari Nyampa (PDP, Adamawa), Jamo Aminu (APC, Katsina), Emeka Obiajulu (LP, Anambra), Nnabuife Chinwe Clara (LP, Anambra), Ukodhiko Jonathan (PDP, Delta), Akingbaso Olarewaju (PDP, Ondo), Lilian Orogbu (LP, Anambra), Marcus Onobu (PDP, Edo), Chinedu Obika (LP, FCT) and Billy Osawaru (APC, Edo)

The other lawmakers are Ojuawo Adeniyi (APC, Ekiti), Ngozi Okoli (LP, Delta), Ezechi Nnamdi (LP, Delta), Alozie Ikechi (LP, Abia), Nkwonta Chris (PDP, Abia), Paul Nnamchi (LP, Enugu), Chidi Obetta (LP, Enugu), Chinedu Okere (LP, Imo), Uguru Emmanuel (APC, Ebonyi), Joseph Nwaobasi (APGA, Ebonyi), Anayo Onwugbu (LP, Enugu), Chimaobi Atu (LP, Enugu) and Umeha Cyriacus (LP, Enugu)

Penpushing also reports that Kanu, who is leading a secessionist campaign for the creation of the Biafra Republic from Nigeria, is being tried at the Federal High Court in Abuja over his separatist campaigns, and he recently told the court that he was seeking an out-of-court settlement with the government.

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