The HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is supportive of any approach to which a constructive resolution of the crises in the South East instigated by the actions or inaction of certain forces embedded in the current Federal Administration in Abuja. Any political solution is a welcomed decision and is in no way an interference with the Judiciary because the President through his Attorney General of the Federation instituted the persecution of Nnamdi Kanu.
First and foremost, the crisis started when Mr. President refused to accord the Igbo nation the constitutionally mandated and required equity and equality of citizenship of Nigeria by not considering anybody in the SOUTH EAST TO HEAD ANY SECURITY INSTITUTION UNDER HIS WATCH. Nobody from the South East is holding any command or leadership positions of a security institution under this current dispensation.
The over 60 million Igbo citizens of Nigeria were practically pushed out of Nigeria by Mr. President when he did not trust any Igbo person for appointment of or into any strategic dimensions as one of the security chiefs under his government. So Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB are just mere manifestation of the deep seated collective angst of the Igbo nation instigated by marginalisation and apartheid policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s exclusionist policies targeted against Igbos.
So, it is Mr. President that caused the problem in the first place so he should resolve it by releasing Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and ending the systematic persecution in the High Court of Nnamdi Kanu.
Nnamdi Kanu’s alleged offences which is broadcasting through his IPOB radio station in a remote part of London is not up to 50% of what Nassir El-Rufai or Sheikh Gumi have done and said against Christians and Southern Nigeria but they are free but Nnamdi Kanu is detained because he is Igbo.
Nnamdi Kanu has not done or said half of what Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has done or said in the media yet he is a free man moving around with security whereas the other one is still in detention because he is an Igbo man and his life is still threaten. Gumi mingles with terrorists but he is in freedom. Nnamdi Kanu set up agitation organisation called IPOB to campaign peacefully for Self determination but he is in detention and his life is under severe threats due to the grave conditions under which he is being detained.
The statement by Mr. President that releasing Nnamdi Kanu will violate or amount to the interference with the Judiciary is not correct, that is not the correct position of the law. This is because what is going on between Nnamdi Kanu, the government of Muhammadu Buhari and DSS is not prosecution but persecution.
Mr. President said if he released Nnamdi Kanu it will amount to interference of the Judiciary?
Which Judiciary? Is it the Judiciary the DSS has taken over or seized the control of who goes in or comes out that the federal government’s executive arm controls the premises and determined who comes in or out that the President is talking about? DSS has already hijacked the federal High court. So the executive arm of government under President Muhammadu Buhari has already hijacked the judiciary.
Lastly under the constitution the attorney general of the federation who begins an action can terminate it at anytime based on public interest, So they should release Nnamdi Kanu immediately because of public interest, equity, justice, fairness and equality of citizenship. If Gumi and El-Rufai who admitted paying armed Fulani militia to stop killing Christians and Gumi who defends terrorists are free, why detain Nnamdi Kanu?
Besides, the constitutional power of the Attorney General of the Federation to discontinue criminal prosecution at any stage before judgment is delivered in any criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or any other authority or person is not in doubt as stated by law. The only debate is as to the propriety or otherwise in the exercise of the awesome powers vested in the Attorney General in Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in Nnamdi Kanu’s matter, it is of the highest public interest to end his PERSECUTION.
Arguably, the popular sentiment is that in the exercise of this power, the Hon Attorney-General should address his mind and have regard to public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process. In several celebrated cases, our courts have deliberated on the overriding consideration. The central conclusion is that the bona fide of the Attorneys General could not be questioned as adduced by legal experts severally.
Section174 of Nigeria constitution states thus:
(1) The Attorney-General of the Federation shall have power – (a) to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in Nigeria, other than a court-martial, in respect of any offence created by or under any Act of the National Assembly; (b) to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other authority or person; and (c) to discontinue at any stage before judgement is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or any other authority or person.
(2) The powers conferred upon the Attorney-General of the Federation under subsection (1) of this section may be exercised by him in person or through officers of his department.
(3) In exercising his powers under this section, the Attorney-General of the Federation shall have regard to the public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.
EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO; NATIONAL COORDINATOR: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
19TH NOVEMBER 2021.