Aloy Ejimakor, Special Counsel to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, has slammed a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari that he preferred not to interfere with the judicial process of Kanu, as it runs contrary to the separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive arms of the government.
Ejimakor who responded to Buhari’s comment maintained that the release of his client lies in the hands of the executive arm of government headed by Buhari.
Ripples Nigeria reported that some respected Igbo elders, led by the first republic Minister of Aviation Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, visited Buhari in Aso Villa in Abuja and requested the unconditional release of Kanu.
In response, Buhari had said, “You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the Judiciary.
“When Kanu jumped bail, got arrested and was brought back to Nigeria, I said the best thing was to subject him to the system. Let him make his case in court, instead of giving very negative impressions of the country from the outside. I will consider your demand, but it is a heavy one.”
However, Ejimakor said contrary to the President’s statement, the release of the IPOB leader is not in the hands of the judiciary.
He quoted Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, noting that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has the power to discontinue at any stage any criminal proceedings instituted by him before judgement is delivered.
The lawyer, in a post on his official Twitter handle, wrote, “Section 174 of the Constitution says: The Attorney General of the Federation shall have the power to discontinue any criminal proceedings instituted by him. The unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu lies with the Executive, not the Judiciary.”
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