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ACF rejects amnesty for Kanu, says IPOB leader can’t be trusted

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THE Arewa Consultative Forum has kicked against an amnesty for the detained leader of the proscribed secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, noting that he cannot be trusted.

The pan-Northern socio-political organisation recalled that Kanu once jumped bail in 2017 and fled the country.

ACF, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to follow the rule of law and leave the IPOB leader to face trial for the charges brought against him.

“What would happen to the case against him (Kanu)? The case would be thrown away? If he (Buhari) releases him that will be the end of the case. We have a democracy and there is due process of law; there is separation of power between the judiciary and the executive. If somebody is taken to court, it is now left for the judiciary to say the person is guilty or not,” ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, said today.

“The President who is part of the executive cannot take a case to court and then adjudge it himself by releasing the person and say he (Kanu) should go free. We stand by the rule of law.

“When Kanu was re-arrested, we cautioned that he should not be given extrajudicial trial; we said he should be tried by the provisions of the law and now we find it strange that somebody who was accused would be released without trial.”

The ACF spokesman stressed that Kanu cannot be trusted and warned against his release.

“How can you trust somebody who jump bail and you caught him and bring him to try him again? A serving Senator and important member of the society stood bail for him and he (Kanu) didn’t show up in court,” he said.

Yawe was reacting to demand by some respected Igbo elders that the President should release Kanu, who is facing terrorism-related charges and has since been detained in the custody of the Department of State Servies.

Recall that the Igbo leaders led by Minister of Aviation in the First Republic, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, visited Buhari in Aso Rock in Abuja on Friday and requested the unconditional release of Kanu.

In response, Buhari had said, “You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the Judiciary.

“When Kanu jumped bail, got arrested and was brought back to Nigeria, I said the best thing was to subject him to the system. Let him make his case in court, instead of giving very negative impressions of the country from outside. I will consider your demand, but it is a heavy one.”

But Yawe said that Igbo leaders would accuse Buhari of nepotism should he start releasing herdsmen nabbed for atrocious crimes.

“If Buhari starts releasing herdsmen who are caught harassing people, they would complain that he is doing it because he is a Fulani man but now they are putting pressure on him to release an Igbo man who has also been caught harassing other Nigerians. It is not right,” he said.

Asked whether only northern suspects were entitled to the concept of amnesty and not suspects from other parts of the country, Yawe said the Audu Ogbeh-led group has been totally against any form of amnesty from the outset.

“As far as Arewa Consultative Forum is concerned, those amnesties are not correct and we have started so. Audu Ogbeh issued a statement when these Boko Haram people said they are reformed and wanted amnesty. They should be tried, they should not be given any amnesty,” he explained.

“The President was elected as a Democratic President; he should act as a Democratic President and not a military man; he should follow the rule of law,” he noted.

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