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I can’t release Nnamdi Kanu, let him defend himself in court — Buhari

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), says the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, should defend himself in court for peddling false information about his regime while he was overseas.

Buhari stated this in an interview aired on Channels Television on Wednesday night monitored by The PUNCH.

Some respected Igbo elders led by Minister of Aviation in the First Republic, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, visited the President in Aso Rock and requested the unconditional release of the detained secessionist leader.

During the visit on November 19, 2021, Buhari had told them he would not want to interfere in the running of the judiciary but said he would consider their demand though “a heavy one.”

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But speaking on Wednesday night during the television interview, the President said, “There is one institution that I wouldn’t interfere with, that is the judiciary, Kanu’s case is with the judiciary but what I wonder is when Kanu was safely in Europe, abusing this administration and mentioning too many things, I thought he wants to come and defend himself on the accusations.

“So, we are giving him an opportunity to defend himself in our system, not to be abusing us from Europe as if he was not a Nigerian. Let him come here with us and then criticise us here. Nigerians know that I don’t interfere with the judiciary, let him be listened to. But those who are saying that he should be released, no, we cannot release him.”

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When asked about the possibility for political solution, Buhari said, “There is a possibility of political solution. If people behave themselves, all well and good but you can’t go to a foreign country and keep on sending incorrect economic and security problems (sic) against our country and thinking that you would not account for what you have been doing. Let him account for what he has been doing.”

Kanu, fled Nigeria in 2017 when Nigerian soldiers raided his home in Umuahia and killed many civilians in an attempt to assassinate him after court granted him bail.

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The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was abducted in Kenya and illegally repatriated to Nigeria in July 2021 for advocating for an independent state known as Biafra.

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