Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to free the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.
President-General, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, urged President Buhari, who he described as an Igbo son and honourary Ohanaeze member, to ensure Kanu’s release before May 29 as a parting gift to the Southeast.
Iwuanyanwu spoke at the flag-off of the Oguta/Orashi Waterways hydrographic survey and dredging in Degema, Imo State.
Kanu was charged with violating the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja struck out the remaining seven charges after Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja had dismissed eight of the 15 amended counts.
The appellate court held that Kanu’s extradition from Kenya in June 2021 was a flagrant violation of Nigeria’s extradition treaty and a breach of the IPOB leader’s fundamental human rights.
It ordered Kanu’s release from the custody of the State Security Service (SSS), where he has been held since he was brought back to Nigeria.
But, the Federal Government appealed to the Supreme Court and was recently granted leave to file nine new grounds of appeal.
Iwuanyanwu, addressing Osinbajo, said: “Please, finally, our Vice President, tell our brother and son, President Buhari, that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo – the over 60 million Igbos – request that he should release Nnamdi Kanu.
“He should release Nnamdi Kanu. Igbos are not seceding. I don’t see why anyone will say Igbos are seceding. Igbos are everywhere. We have investments. Are we going to leave our investments?
“So, please, I am passing this message to him, because he is my President in Nigeria, but in the Ohanaeze, he has been honoured by us and he’s a member, so he’s my subject there.
“I am now telling him that Nnamdi Kanu should be released before he (Buhari) departs (on May 29). We’ll be very grateful.”
Iwuanyanwu also praised President Buhari for addressing some of the marginalisation agitations.
He said: “I would like the Vice President, when you go, tell Buhari we are very grateful.
“When he took office, we were not happy, we complained. But today, at the point of departure, things have changed.
“I can see that in most states a lot has been done. Here in Imo State, a lot has been done for us.
“So, I would like you to tell our son, Buhari, that we are very grateful. And I want Buhari to realise that he is an Igbo son, an honorary Igbo man.
“He has been honoured by some Igbo states. I think Imo State has honoured him, and Ebonyi has honoured him. Chieftancy title in Igbo land is taken very seriously.
“You have to help us tell Buhari that he is an Igbo son, he is a member of Ohaneze Ndigbo by this honour given to him and what I am speaking here today, I am also speaking on his behalf.
“We are very grateful for what he has done, but before he goes, whatever he can do to bring this project to succeed will be highly appreciated.”
The Vice President performed the flag-off in a ceremony at the bank of the river in the Oguta council area of Imo.
Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said the project would provide the enabling environment for wealth generation and brisk movement of goods and services.
Also at the event were the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe; Minister for Trade and Investment, Alhaji Muazu Sambo; former Imo governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim; former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Maurice Iwu; officials of the Imo government as well as top officials of the Nigerian Navy.