President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has said that unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, who is now on trial for treason, would violate the theory of executive-judicial separation.
As he said, despite the fact that such a request is extremely substantial, he will examine it.
Buhari made the remarks on Friday at State House, Abuja, while meeting a delegation headed by First Republic legislator and Minister of Aviation, Mbazulike Amaechi, under the auspices of Highly Respected Igbo Greats.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘President Buhari to Igbo Leaders: your demand for Nnamdi Kanu’s release is heavy. I will consider it’.
Speaking to the delegation led by the 93-year-old statesman, Buhari 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 a very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.”
The President, emphasizing his policy of non-interference with the judiciary, said that when Kanu skipped bail, was detained, and returned to the nation, “I said the best course of action 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 President expressed his condolences to Amaechi, who just laid to rest his wife, asking for her soul to rest in peace.
The nonagenarian had called the Southeast’s position as “painful and pathetic,” citing economic failures, eroding education, and a reign of dread.
He 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 would no longer say the things he had been saying,” stressing that he could control him, “not because I have anything to do with IPOB, but I am highly respected in Igboland today.”
Amaechi said that he had already interacted with Nnamdi Kanu twice, and the latter overturned previous directives prohibiting civil disobedience.
“I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in a unified Nigeria that is a powerhouse in Africa. Mr President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and you quenched the fire.”
The visiting team included former Anambra State Governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Methodist Church Bishop Sunday Onuoha, former President of the Igbo socio-cultural organisation Aka Ikenga, Goddy Uwazurike, and Tagbo Amaechi.