President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to consider what he called “heavy” request for an unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Kanu, who is currently standing trial for treason, is in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
He said the unconditional release of Kanu runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive and Judiciary.
Buhari told the 93-year-old statesman that: “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. God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.”
The President, while emphasising his policy of non-interference with the Judiciary, said when Kanu jumped bail, got arrested and brought back to the country, “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 feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity.”
The President, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, commiserated with Chief Amaechi, who recently buried his wife, praying that her soul would rest in peace.
The nonagenarian, who earlier described the situation in the South East as “painful and pathetic,” said businesses had collapsed, education was crumbling, and there was fear everywhere.