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In a letter to Tinubu, 50 Reps members ask for Nnamdi Kanu’s release

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No fewer than 50 members of the House of Representatives, belonging to the Concerned Federal Lawmakers for Peace and Security in the South-East, have urged President Bola Tinubu to use constitutional provisions to secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

They made this plea in a three-page letter dated June 19, 2024, also calling on President Tinubu to initiate a peace initiative to address challenges in the South-East region of Nigeria.

The signatories include Hon Obi Aguocha (Abia), Hon Ikenga Ugochinyere (Imo), Hon. Aliyu Mustapha (Kaduna), Hon Midala Balami (Borno), Hon Afam Ogene (Anambra), Hon. Abiante Awaji-Inombek (Rivers), Hon Dominic Okafor (Anambra), Hon Etanabene Benedict (Delta), Hon. Shehu Dalhatu (Katsina), Hon Chinedu Emeka Martins (Imo), Hon. Matthew Nwogu (Imo), Hon. Muhammed Buba Jagere (Yobe), Hon Peter Aniekwe (Anambra), Hon Koki Sagir (Kano), Hon Amobi Oga (Abia), Hon Gwacham Chinwe (Anambra), Hon Uchenna Okonkwo (Anambra), Hon. Abdulmaleek Danga (Kogi), Hon. Osi Nkemkama (Ebonyi), and others.

The lawmakers appealed to Tinubu 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 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.

According to the lawmakers, they view this action as overdue and essential for initiating crucial discussions on restoring peace, inclusivity, and addressing underlying issues driving the current unrest.

They pointed out that the President had previously extended similar gestures through the Attorney General’s office in cases involving Omoyele Sowore and Sunday Igboho.

The legislators expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation, economic decline, displacement of families, and collapse of businesses in the South-East.

They emphasized that resolving these challenges would improve the region’s conditions and demonstrate the President’s commitment to upholding democratic principles of justice and fairness.

The lawmakers advocated for dialogue over prolonged legal actions, believing it would promote peace initiatives, economic recovery, and foster a stronger sense of belonging among Southeastern citizens.

Expressing confidence in a positive response from President Tinubu, the legislators believed it would enhance his administration’s legacy as one dedicated to national unity, peace, and advancement.

The letter read partly, “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 would 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.

“We collectively believe this 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 Southeast 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 dismantle the apparatus of violence and restiveness that has plagued the region, allowing for a focus on economic growth and development. This comes 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, and others.

“All these recorded tremendous successes, especially in resolving 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 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 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 and 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 improve 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 revitalization, and a renewed sense of belonging among the citizens of the Southeast.

“It would also enhance your administration’s legacy as one that prioritizes 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.”

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