•As FG appeals judgment discharging him

THE South East Caucus of the Senate  has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the Appeal Court Order  and as a matter of urgency,  release  the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The South East Senate  Caucus also urged  the Federal Government not to  appeal the ruling at the Supreme Court, just as the Senators advised the  Presidency to utilise the opportunity presented by the Appeal Court ruling and consider political solution in nipping in the bud, the lingering problem in the interest of the country’s unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians.

However, the statement came  after Nigeria’s Federal Government on Wednesday had  allegedly filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against the judgment of  the Court of Appeal which favoured the IPOB leader.

In a statement yesterday, the Caucus cautioned that resorting to the Supreme Court would ignite varied interpretations, which to all intents is injurious to the unity and corporate existence of the country. 

The statement was signed by the Majority leader, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu; the Minority leader, Senator Chukwuka Utazi; Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; Senator Uche Ekwunife (Iyom) and Senator Stella Oduah.

Others were Senator Sam Egwu; Senator Obinna Ogba; Senator T A Orji (Ochendo); Senator Chimaroke Nnamani; Senator Micheal Nnachi; Senator Onyewuchi Ezenwa; Senator Rochas Okorocha; Senator Frank Ibezim and Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.

The statement read: “We should be mindful of our diversity and the strengths we as a country derive there from. This is the time to show magnanimity and statesmanship. The Appeal Court has provided the leeway for the authorities to walk the talk as ones desirous of preserving Nigeria’s unity and respect for her diversity.

“Not appealing the matter and resorting to political solution will in no way question the enormous powers of the federal government. Rather, it would enhance its prestige as a government in love with all segments of the Nigerian society. 

“Accordingly, we as a Caucus and stakeholders in the Nigeria project appeal to Mr President, to remember the promise he made to a delegation of elders of Igboland sometime ago and release Nnamdi Kanu, especially now that the Appeal Court by that ruling removed the burd en of interference from him.  Going on Appeal would ultimately negate that kind gesture.”

FG appeals judgment  discharging Kanu 

But acting on behalf of the government, the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami  allegedly had asked the apex court to stay the execution of the October 13 judgment of the Court of Appeal.

The request forms one of the reliefs in a motion for a stay of execution.

The motion contained a seven-ground notice of appeal, in which the Federal Government not only faulted the lower court’s decision but equally prayed that it be set aside.

The appellant argued, among others, that the Court of Appeal erred when it faulted the manner Kanu was brought back to face trial after he jumped bail and fled the country.

It contended further that the Court of Appeal erred when it struck out the pending charge against Kanu on the ground that the trial court no longer possessed the requisite jurisdiction to continue the trial because of the manner Kanu was returned to the country upon allegedly jumping bail.

A date for the hearing of the motion for the stay of execution is being awaited.

On October 13, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory upheld the appeal of Kanu.

The Appeal Court declared as unlawful the abduction of Kanu in Kenya.

A three-member panel of the appellate court also quashed the terrorism charge brought against him by the Federal Government.

The Court of Appeal was of the view that the Federal Government breached all local and international laws in the forceful rendition of Kanu to Nigeria thereby making the terrorism charge against him incompetent and unlawful.