The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said it is premature to pardon leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, adding that Kanu is still standing trial for terrorism-related charges.
Malami revealed this during a Channels Television’s current affairs programme, ‘Politics Today’ on Wednesday.
When asked for the possibility of an out-of-court settlement to free the IPOB leader or whether a political solution is on the table, the AGF said, “I am not ruling out any possibility but that is not immediately on the table.”
He said, “Pardon is a function of conviction in the Nigerian context and as far as I know, Nnamdi Kanu has not been convicted yet so the idea of pardoning him is premature against the backdrop that the trials associated with him have not been concluded but one thing I can tell you is that he is standing trial and the trial continues as at today.”
Asked whether the release of Kanu would contribute to the healing of the South-East, the AGF said, “I have not accessed the security situation of that in terms of being a solution.”
Nnamdi Kanu is scheduled to appear before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court on Thursday in Abuja.
Justice Nyako had on November 10, 2021, adjourned the trial of Kanu till January 19 and 20, 2022, for trial but the court granted an abridgement of time after a motion was filed in that respect.
TOS had earlier reported that some Igbo elders, led by Minister of Aviation in the First Republic, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, visited President Buhari on November 19, 2021, in Aso Rock and requested for the unconditional release of Kanu who is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja .
President Buhari in response, said he would not interfere in the affairs of the judiciary but that he would consider their demand though “a heavy one.”