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Buhari: Extraditing Nnamdi Kanu was a favour — we’d have eliminated him

BY Dyepkazah Shibayan

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Former President Muhammadu Buhari has been quoted as saying that bringing back Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to face trial in Nigeria was a favour.

Femi Adesina, his former spokesperson, quoted the ex-president as saying this in ‘Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015-2023)’, a new book unveiled in Abuja last week.

Adesina narrated how a group known as Highly-Respected Igbo Greats, led by Mbazulike Ameachi, a first republic minister of aviation, pleaded with the former president to release Kanu.

Buhari said the federal government, on his watch, had the option to eliminate Kanu, but it was thought that bringing him back to Nigeria to face trial was the best option for all parties.

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“In the past six years, I have developed a system in which I don’t interfere with the judiciary,” Buhari said.

“Let him make his case in court instead of giving a terrible impression of the country from outside. That was why in the case of Kanu, I said the best was to subject him to the system.

“I feel it is a favour to give him (Kanu) that opportunity. Government could have mobilized to eliminate him where he was, but we did not do that.

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“You have made an extremely difficult demand on me as the leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, nobody will say I have confronted the judiciary.

“We are developing a country, and we have to go through the pains. The demand you have made is heavy, but I will consider it. I am glad to know you closely at this time.”

Kanu was extradited to Nigeria in 2021 after he jumped bail and fled the country, following his arraignment for alleged terrorism, treasonable felony, and incitement.

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