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Detained Biafran Leader Nnamdi Kanu Resolute, Says He’s Not Pleading for His Freedom

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ABUJA, Nigeria – Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has sent a powerful message to the Federal Government of Nigeria, stating he will not beg for his release despite being cleared by a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The declaration was made public in a letter dated August 25, 2023, signed by Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, and released to our correspondent late last night.

In the letter, Ozekhome drew attention to the “deplorable” condition of Kanu’s detention facility and called for the appointment of a Magistrate to inspect it. “Following the SSS refusal to avail Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu with his medical records, our lead counsel was compelled to initiate a contempt proceeding against the State Security Service for this gross violation of positive Orders of Court,” Ozekhome stated.

“Thus, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu firmly believes that he does not need to beg the Federal Government to release him. The Court of Appeal has already made a pronouncement in that regard, which has remained sacrosanct till date,” said Ifeanyi Ejiofor, another of Kanu’s lawyers.

Ejiofor confirmed that an application has been made to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory to inspect the detention center where Kanu has been held in solitary confinement since June 2021.

Kanu emphasized that begging for freedom at this point would be an “insult to the memory of the late Pa Mbazulike Amechi,” who had repeatedly travelled to Abuja to plead with the Federal Government for Kanu’s release, to no avail.

“Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu used the opportunity to extend his heartfelt gratitude to all people of good conscience and groups calling for his release,” said Ejiofor.

Kanu’s case has drawn international scrutiny and ignited debates on the Nigerian government’s stance on separatism, human rights, and judicial processes.

Human rights activists have repeatedly criticized the Nigerian government for what they see as an unjust detention and political maneuvering.

“The Court of Appeal’s judgment from October 13, 2022, clearly indicated no charge pending against him. The Federal Government’s defiance in detaining him anyway is a blatant abuse of the rule of law,” said Adaora Ijeoma, a Nigerian human rights advocate.

Ijeoma and others are now calling for the Supreme Court to set a date for the expeditious hearing of the appeal filed by the Federal Government, as provided for in the Criminal Appeals Practice Directions of the Supreme Court.

With no current charges against him and cleared by the Court of Appeal, the question now is, why is Nnamdi Kanu still behind bars? The situation leaves the international community, human rights organizations, and legal experts puzzled and concerned, casting a shadow over Nigeria’s commitment to the rule of law and justice.

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