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IPOB: Nnamdi Kanu was discharged by court — he doesn’t need surety to be released

Nnamdi Kanu Nnamdi Kanu

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) says Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, does not need anyone to stand surety for him before he is released.

In a statement on Monday, Emma Powerful, IPOB spokesperson, said a court of competent jurisdiction has ordered the unconditional release of Kanu.

Powerful was reacting to a recent comment by Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra state.

Soludo had called on the federal government to release Kanu, saying he would stand as surety for the IPOB leader.

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Powerful however said Soludo should instead devote his efforts toward “persuading and compelling” the federal government to obey the judgement of the court and release Kanu.

“It is important, therefore, to clarify that our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has no any form of indictment or even charge pending against him today before any court by the authority of this judgement,” the statement reads.

“The issue of granting bail or otherwise does not arise by any stretch of consideration or imagination because it is the federal government that is today in breach of this order of a superior court of competent jurisdiction.

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“There is no charge hanging on his (Kanu’s) neck today. We have gone beyond the issue of surety or no surety; every genuine call/demand in the prevailing circumstance should be firmly directed at calling out on the federal government of Nigeria to immediately obey the order for the unconditional release of Onyendu made by its court.

“May we also remind Governor Soludo and others that Onyendu’s current incarceration is not sanctioned by any law known to man, it is unconstitutional and an affront to constitutional democracy and rule of law.”

BACKGROUND

In October 2022, the court of appeal in Abuja struck out the terrorism charge filed against Kanu.

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The appellate court held that Kanu’s extradition from Kenya to Nigeria to stand trial was illegal.

The federal government later filed an appeal before the supreme court challenging the judgement — and subsequently filed an amended charge before a federal high court.

The federal government also filed a to stay the execution in the appellate court and it was granted.

‘NO AUTOMATIC RELEASE’

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Speaking in an interview with TheCable on Monday, Modibbo Bakari, a legal practitioner, said Kanu cannot be released because of the stay of execution application granted by the court.

According to the human rights lawyer, the charges amended by the federal government also “supersedes the previous acquaintance or discharge” because there are fresh charges against him which “has to be attended to differently and independently of the previous one (charge)”.

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He added that Kanu can secure his release through a bail application which would be granted by the “discretion” of the court.

“Once you appeal against a judgement — by law — it means the status quo should be maintained until the appeal is determined,” he said.

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“In the circumstance of the two — whether there was an appeal or there was an amended charge — that judgement of acquaintance will not salvage him to get an automatic release.

“It remains the position of the law that he must apply for bail, especially as to the amended charges before the court; and the court always has the discretion to grant him bail.”

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KANU’S SURETY HISTORY

Before the recent court proceedings, Kanu had jumped bail in 2017.

Enyinnaya Abaribe, senator representing Abia south, was one of his sureties when the IPOB leader was granted bail — after 18 months in custody.

The federal high court had ordered Abaribe to either produce Kanu or forfeit a N100 million bail bond.

In 2018, the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Abaribe, but he was released after four days in custody.

In 2021, after Kanu was re-arrested, Abaribe again said he would stand as surety for him if he was asked to.

TheCable had also reported how Orji Kalu, chief whip of the senate, said he was ready to stand surety for Kanu if he was released from custody.

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