The apex socio-political association of the Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has condemned moves by the Federal Government to re-arrest the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is being prosecuted before an Abuja Federal High Court on treasonable felony charges.
Kanu was granted bail on April 25, 2017, after spending several months in detention.
But, in an application which was reportedly served on Kanu on Friday, the Federal Government asked the court to revoke the bail granted the IPOB leader, and also order his immediate arrest by the police.
The Federal Government noted that Kanu violated the bail conditions by granting interviews and holding rallies which attracted crowds that exceeded 10 persons, contrary to the orders of the court.
The IPOB leader was equally described as a threat to national security for inaugurating an illegal security outfit known as Biafra Security Service.
However, reacting to the development on Saturday, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, accused the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, of bias.
Speaking in a statement entitled ‘Attorney General of the Federation, please respect your oath of office!’, the Ohanaeze leader noted that the bail conditions handed down by the court violated Kanu’s human rights.
Nwodo wondered why the AGF would move to re-arrest Kanu, when he (AGF) did not take any step to check the activities of the Arewa youths, who, he said, only ‘pretended’ to withdraw the quit notice they issued to Igbo in the North.
Parts of the statement read, “It has just been brought to my notice that the Attorney General of the Federation has approached the courts to incarcerate Nnamdi Kalu for flouting his bail conditions.
“I am amazed that the distinguished attorney is prepared to contest the superiority of the provisions of the constitution on fundamental human rights of freedom of movement and freedom of association over an erroneous judicial proclamation violating those rights.
“I am equally miffed by the audacity with which the Attorney General displays his bias without regard to his oath of office.
“A few hours ago under the watchful eyes of the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and in total defiance of the Head of State’s proclamation of the rights of a citizen of Nigeria to live anywhere in Nigeria and to do business anywhere in Nigeria, the Arewa youths, pretending to withdraw their quit notice gave qualifications to the Head of State’s proclamation, issuing conditions for enjoyment of citizenship status.
“These same Arewa youths are supposed to have been arrested on the orders of the Governor of Kaduna State and the Inspector General of Police for acts of treason, conversion and sedition.
“As the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, the Attorney General looks the other way. He does not go to court to seek an order of arrest or prosecution.”
Nwodo pointed out that, although he and some other Igbo leaders have been insulted by Kanu due to differences in opinion, the IPOB leader reserves the right to hold any point of view in a democratic society.
“Nnamdi, as a citizen of Nigeria, is free to hold any point of view no matter how displeasing to anyone so long as they are not inciting or provoking any criminal activities.
“I and some Igbo leaders have differences of opinion with Nnamdi on a number of issues. We have been insulted and abused by Radio Biafra but we concede them their right to differ from us. We concede them their nature to be exuberant as youths but we cannot be judgmental about their rights.
“This is a democracy. In democracies, leaders are abused, pelted with rotten eggs and booed at, as the former Edo State governor was booed in Abuja a few days ago. These acts are not necessarily criminal.
“I urge the Attorney-General not to exacerbate our already tense nation by commencing a legal action which portrays him as biased, insensitive and misdirected,” the Ohanaeze leader added.