By G9ija

The release of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is paramount for peaceful elections in the South-East zone of Nigeria in 2023.

Two chieftains of different parties in Imo State made this known on Wednesday.

“If anything, we have severally called on the state government to call for a peace conference. Nnamdi Kanu’s release is paramount to peace and peaceful election in the South-East in 2023,” said a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ray Emeagha.

On his part, a founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chris-Lance Osondu-Onyemechara, said, “Sure, I agree with him (Emeagha).”

“Personally, I wish the government does not appeal the ruling. Sincerely, I want him to be released and I want us to have peace in the South-East,” he added.

After legal fireworks for over a year since he was returned to Nigeria, an Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on October 13, 2022 discharged Kanu who is being prosecuted by the Federal Government at the Federal High Court in Abuja for 15 charges bordering on treasonable felony, terrorism, amongst others.

However, the National Security Council and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the leader of the proscribed group was only discharged and not acquitted.

Kanu is still in the custody of the Department of State Services in Abuja while Malami has insisted that “the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public”.

Meanwhile, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and elder statesman Edwin Clark have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the court ruling as he promised Igbo leaders in May that only the court will decide Kanu’s fate.