The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has explained that it can’t obey the court ruling ordering the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) because he’s a national security threat.
The government told the Appeal Court in Abuja that Kanu posed a flight risk and was a threat to national security.
David Kaswe, an Assistant State Counsel in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, informed the court that the case against Kanu bordered on national security.
He argued that the fundamental rights of the IPOB leader should be suspended due to national interest.
Kaswe said: “It is important to appreciate the gamut of depositions in our application. The Respondent is a flight risk person and one of the grounds of our application is that this matter touches on national security of the State.
“Once there is a threat to national security, human rights of any individual can be suspended until such threat is taken care of.”
Kaswe also informed the court that releasing Kanu would worsen the security situation in the South East.
“The defendant has shown that he has the capacity to jump bail or to escape from lawful custody.
“There is reasonable intelligence that the enforcement of judgement of this court, pending determination of our appeal at the Supreme Court, may impact negatively on the declining security in the South East,” he said.
A few weeks ago, the Appeal Court had discharged and acquitted Kanu of all terrorism charges.
Despite the court’s ruling, the Federal Government has refused to release the IPOB leader.
The AGF, Abubakar Malami, had hinted that more charges would be levelled against Kanu; hence he can’t be released.
Kanu has been locked up by the Department of State Services, DSS, since June 2021.
He was arrested in Kenya and subjected to extraordinary rendition.
Upon his return, the Federal Government arraigned him on charges boarding on terrorism.
The IPOB leader was first arrested in 2017 due to his agitation for the actualization of Biafra.
Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja Federal High Court had granted him bail.
Shortly after Kanu was released, he fled the country to Europe where he continued his Biafra agitation.