Chief Victor Umeh, former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Sunday, called on the Buhari government to obey the ruling of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which discharged Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The court, last Thursday, ruled that the manner Kanu was renditioned to Nigeria from Kenya is illegal.
But Nigeria’s attorney general and minister of justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, said the discharge does not mean acquittal.
Since Kanu’s rendition last year, South-East region of the country has been witnessing volatile activities, including the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra, which Kanu is the leader.
Senator Umeh, senatorial candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, said the federal government had no basis to keep Kanu in her costody.
He told newsmen in Awka that, “The news of the Court of Appeal judgment is very soothing and gladdening in the sense that the federal government has been given a golden opportunity to bring to an end the controversy between it and IPOB.
“When Kanu was brought home from Kenya last year, I was one of those who asked that the matter be given fair judicial adjudication.
“Along the line, through a suit instituted by Kanu, a High Court of Umuahia quashed some of the charges against him. At that time, I told the Federal Government to use political solution and end the matter to stop the political and security tension, but they did not.
“Now that the Court of Appeal has quashed the charges against him, it is trite for the Federal Government to release him and let him go. The United Nations (UN) had made an earlier order for the release of Kanu.
“While the UN and the world were waiting for government to toe that line, the Court of Appeal has also made an order for his release. I don’t think the Federal Government has any reason to continue to keep him.
“Someone who is looking for peace should know when God has given him an opening to embrace peace. This judgment by the Court of Appeal is sufficient to end all charges against Nnamdi Kanu and allow him to go. It will also help to solve the security problem in the Southeast.
“Every Monday, there is sit-at-home in the Southeast. But if they release him now, that will disappear and we will have five working days in a week, like others.
“The Federal Government has nothing to gain by continuing to detain Nnamdi Kanu. If you noticed, tension has dropped recently.
“Releasing Nnamdi Kanu will not lead to any challenge any more. It is for the government to rely on this judgment to release him.
“I remember that Igbo leaders went to solicit the unconditional release and Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN) even went on a wheelchair with Chief Mbazulike Amaechi to ask for Kanu’s release. But President Muhammadu Buhari said he did not want to interfere in the judicial processes.
“But now, the Court of Appeal has set him free. I believe this is a golden opportunity for Mr. President to rely on this judgment to release Kanu, which the UN had earlier called for.
“I believe if this is done, the country will be better for it, instead of trying to exacerbate the tension by trying to keep him. I believe if they obey the judgment, everyone will be happy.”