According to Femi Falana (SAN), the Nigerian government lacks the expertise to continue the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on treasonable charges.
The human rights attorney advised sitting down and engaging in negotiations with the IPOB leader rather than squandering time and resources on Kanu’s trial.
This is because after the Appeal Court decision that released and acquitted Kanu, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, argued that the IPOB was just released but not cleared.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Officer, Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, he insisted that “for the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the Court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted.”
The AGF has added that, “Consequently, the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public.”
“The decision handed down by the court of appeal was on a single issue that bordered on rendition.” Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predate rendition based on which Kanu jumped bail remain valid issues for judicial determination.
“The Federal Government will consider all available options open to us on the judgment on rendition while pursuing the determination of pre-rendition issues.”
But Falana said that “the trial cannot be concluded.” The government cannot try him (Nnamdi Kanu). I know the government is not competent to try him. (Omoyele) Sowore was charged with a treasonable felony in 2019. After we took the first witness, the government couldn’t go on. So, the government has been adjoining the case, and that is the problem with politically motivated cases.
“What the government should do is to sit down with all the aggrieved people in the country and negotiate.” If you are negotiating with terrorists, why can you not sit down with Nnamdi Kanu and others? If Nigerians want to build a country, it must be on a platform of justice and fair play. Everyone must be treated equally. ”
Falana cited the case of Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), who was arrested and charged with a treasonable felony in 2019. Till date, the case had not been concluded because the government kept adjourning it.
Also, Sowore had during one of his media interviews this year said that the government did not convict anyone of treasonable offence, hence, rather than letting go of his case, the federal government chose to continue to adjourn it, having known that it would not win the case.