The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has stated that the Federal Government is not inclined to free the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra despite the court order requiring Nigeria to return him to Kenya and pay him N500 million as compensation. This is due to a number of reasons.
Malami stated in an exclusive interview with newsmen yesterday that Nnamdi Kanu’s rendition could not serve as the sole justification for the release of the IPoB leader from other charges related to alleged offences against the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Kanu was being held by the government, according to the justice minister, because of four serious problems that came before the court’s decision to clear him in the rendition case.
Nnamdi Kanu’s release or detention depends on the law and the rule of law, according to Malami.
In deciding whether to release or not to release, you must first consider the rule of law, then the public interest and the national interest, then the security situation, and finally, international diplomacy.
“Let me begin by discussing the rule of law. Due to allegations that have been brought against him in court, this person has been granted bail.
A case of a fugitive is established against the background of someone skipping bail to the international community.
“Two, arising out of national security, this is someone who is charged with treason, incitement and overthrow of civil power, murder and assassination of others on account of his incitement, which comes down to matters of criminality and national security.
“Three, because of international diplomacy, this is someone who has launched an attack on a nation, specifically against his own, using the international community or a foreign country.
“As a result, all of these naturally play a role in deciding what to do. Therefore, if you have established multiple treason, murder, bail-jumping, and other cases through legal channels, the fact that you have actually prevailed in one case as opposed to multiple others that are still pending establishes the fact that case cannot serve as the sole basis for deciding whether you are entitled to be released or not.
Other than the rendition case, which is the only case that has been decided, other cases involving jumping bail, other cases involving inciting the public, other cases involving murder, homicide, among others, and in fact above all, within the context of the rule of law, the right of the federal government to challenge the decision that pertains to rendition, a challenge associated with the appeal.
“So, the straightforward inquiry is whether the federal government’s decision to detain Kanu is justifiable in light of the rule of law, and my response is that it is. This is due to the fact that Kanu has more cases outstanding in addition to the one that has already been resolved.
Malami said in the interview that “there are other numerous treason cases, there are numerous appeals that are pending and yet to be decided, and then there are also international public interest dimensions and the essence of the government is the sustenance of a public and not a personal interest.”
You may recall that Kanu was released by the Appeal Court in Abuja as well as a Federal High Court in the state of Abia on the grounds that he had been detained without cause in Kenya and had been extradited to Nigeria years earlier to face charges there.
The federal government was also fined N500 million by the Federal High Court for the act of rendition, which Kanu had sought as retaliation against the federal government.
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