An ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives has asked for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the incarcerated leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Obinna Aguocha, chairman of the committee collaborating with security services to combat criminal activities in Abia state’s Isuikwuato and Umunneochi LGAs, addressed at a hearing on Thursday.
He stated that the release of the IPOB leader is required for the restoration of peace in the southeast.
Since being extradited from Kenya in June 2021, the IPOB leader has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The federal government’s terrorism charge against Kanu was dismissed by the Abuja Court of Appeal in October 2022.
The case was heard by the Supreme Court in May, but it was postponed until September 14.
If the insecurity concerns in the southeast are to be adequately handled, the committee chairperson stated that the underlying source of the problem must be addressed.
“For absolute peace, reduction of crime and criminality, investment in meaningful infrastructure development, ending the unproductive sit-at-home and improving economic growth and opportunities in the south-east, starts with the government’s recognition of the rule of law, justice, and equitable inclusion of the south-east zone in the project Nigeria and the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from unlawful detention to ensure lasting peace and security in the entire region,” he said.
The lawmaker lamented that the security situation in the southeast is not “mere statistics or headlines”.
He said the situation is a “real-life manifestation that affects the lives of our people, disrupts the functioning of our institutions and communities, and impedes the growth” of the geo-political zone.
The release of Kanu has been repeatedly demanded by parties, particularly south-east governors.