- Demands unconditional freedom for Kanu
Leadership of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, a pro-Biafra group, has queried President Muhammadu Buhari, for allegedly freeing the notorious Boko Haram leader, Kabiru Umar alias Kabiru Sokoto, from prison.
The president according to the organisation was said to have secretly released Sokoto who was accused of masterminding the bombing of Madala, Niger State on Christmas Day of 2011, from prison as part of 2016 Eid-el-kabir.
The organisation in a statement made available to the media, signed by IPOB spokesmen, Barr. Emma Mmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya respectively, flayed the president for granting the Boko Haram lord amnesty while to grant their leader, Nnamdi Kanu unconditional release from prison.
The organisation wondered that whereas Sokoto was convicted by a competent court and sentenced to life imprisonment, why should Kanu who has not been sentenced but only spuriously charged should be held in detention.
“Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari, the man who committed treason on 31st December 1983, was reported to have freed from prison Mr. Kabiru Umar popularly known as Kabiru Sokoto. We recall that on December 20, 2013, Hon. Justice Adeniyi Ademola convicted and sentenced Kabiru Sokoto to life imprisonment having found him guilty of masterminding the 2011 Christmas Day bomb blast that killed over 44 persons and injured 75 others at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church at Madala in Niger State. Most of the dead and injured persons were Biafrans.
“Prior to his sentencing, Kibiru Sokoto was arrested on January 14, 2012 but escaped from Police custody in Abuja on January 16, 2012 and was re-arrested on February 10, 2012. Now, Muhammadu Buhari has used his presidential powers and authority to release Kibiru Sokoto the terrorist and mass murderer.
“On the other hand, Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, was abducted in Lagos by agents of Department of State Services, DSS, on October 14, 2015 and was subjected to physical and mental torture to the point of near-death. He was later flown to Abuja and kept in DSS detention centre where the torture continued unabated for upwards of three months. He was arraigned at the Magistrate court and later at High court on frivolous charges. On both occasions, the presiding Magistrate and Judge struck out the cases and ordered that Mr. Nnamdi Kanu be released unconditionally. Up to this moment, those court orders have not been obeyed and have not been challenged by the DSS.
“It is on record that Muhammadu Buhari informed the world during his Media chat of December 30, 2015 that Nnamdi Kanu will never be released despite the subsisting court orders and without the DSS putting up any challenge in the court against the subsisting court orders.
“Instead of obeying court orders to release Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally, Muhammadu Buhari embarked on several assassination attempts on the IPOB leader. Having failed to assassinate Nnamdi Kanu on so many attempts, Buhari has now set a date for Nnamdi Kanu’s assassination which is slated for October 1, 2016,” organisation alleges.
The organisation posits that for Buhari to release Kabiru Sokoto, it means that he is actually funding and financing the terrorist organisation, Boko Haram, which many believe he has a hand in.
“We are wondering why Buhari is abandoning his prosecution of Nnamdi Kanu and going for the option of assassination. Is Buhari not sure of the ability of his legal team to make a strong case for the conviction of Nnamdi Kanu? Is Buhari impatient with the rule of law to the extent that he now wants to take the laws into his hands and resort to extra-judicial killing which has always been his second nature?
“What is the rationale behind Buhari’s preference for the freedom of a terrorist and mass murderer over compliance with the rulings of courts of competent jurisdictions? Even though the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria was written by a single individual called General Abdulsalami Abubakar, is Buhari claiming ignorance of the provisions of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution as they pertain to Oaths of Allegiance and Oath of Office of President?
“Even with his limited education and non-existent leadership training plus lack of updated skills in modern and democratic governance, Muhammadu Buhari should at least respect the Constitution of the country he is claiming to be the president.
“Why would Muhammadu Buhari go out of his ways to prove his critics right by openly supporting terrorists and terrorist organisations? Muhammadu Buhari has been severally accused and linked with founding, funding, and supporting Boko Haram, which is an organisation that was declared a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, FTO, by the US States Department.
“By unilaterally releasing Kabiru Sokoto, a self-confessed and legally convicted terrorist, Muhammadu has demonstrated to the entire world that he is a terrorist himself. But what begs for explanation is Muhammadu Buhari’s insistence on disobeying court orders for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu.
“It is beyond human explanation that Muhammadu Buhari will release a convicted and universally acknowledged terrorist on the one hand and on the other hand, refuse to release a man that was ordered by the courts to be set free. He freely released Kabiru Sokoto the terrorist, but held on to Nnamdi Kanu the freedom fighter who was ordered to be released by courts of competent jurisdictions. Instead, Buhari has made attempts at Nnamdi Kanu’s life and has even gone further to set October 1, 2016, as the date for the murder of Nnamdi Kanu.
“We hope that the world is taking notes and watching the actions of this man (Buhari), who relishes in spilling the blood of Biafrans which he started on July 29, 1966 when he participated in the killing of Major General J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi and other Army Officers of Biafran extraction.
“The world must know that Biafrans are hell-bent on restoring their God-given nation of Biafra and no amount of blood-letting by Muhammadu Buhari will dissuade Biafrans from this divine mission,” the statement posits.