Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu is scheduled to appear in court for an emergency hearing tomorrow. This has fueled speculations that it will lead to his release on bail.
It was learnt on Wednesday that the hearing could open the door for Kanu’s release on bail.
This was confirmed by the counsel for the Nigerian government in the matter.
It was also learnt from Nigerian government lawyers that the move is in response to the fervent appeals by Igbo leaders for the release of the pro-Biafra agitator.
“Nnamdi Kanu scheduled for an emergency hearing tomorrow that could lead to his release on bail.
“This is in response to Igbo elders’ request for his release,” one of the sources said on Wednesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had said on Friday, November 19 that he would consider the unconditional release of the IPOB leader as sought by elder statesmen from the South-East.
Buhari had, however, added that such a request was a difficult option to weigh but assured that he would give it a thought.
Buhari said this while receiving a group under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats, led by First Republic parliamentarian and Minister of Aviation, Mbazulike Amaechi, at State House, Abuja, earlier in November.
Amaechi, a nonagenarian, had described the situation in the South-East as “painful and pathetic,” lamenting that businesses have collapsed, education crumbling, and fear everywhere.
He had pleaded for a political, rather than military solution, requesting that if Kanu was released to him as the only First Republic Minister still alive, “he (Kanu) would no longer say the things he had been saying,” stressing that he could control him, “not because I have anything to do with them (IPOB), but I am highly respected in Igbo land today.”
A Presidential media aide, Femi Adesina, had revealed this in a statement titled, “President Buhari to Igbo Leaders: Your demand for Nnamdi Kanu’s release is heavy. I will consider it.”
However, in his response, Buhari had said, “You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the Judiciary. God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.”
Stressing his policy of non-interference with the Judiciary, the President said when Kanu jumped bail, got arrested and was brought back to the country, “I said the best thing was to subject him to the system. Let him make his case in court, instead of giving very negative impressions of the country from the outside. I feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity.
The IPOB leader is currently standing trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja for terrorism-related charges.
Kanu was illegally arrested in Kenya and renditioned to Nigeria in June.