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Releasing IPOB leader, Kanu, would escalate insecurity in South-East —Nigerian govt

The Federal Government has ruled out any hope of releasing the leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, even after the Appeal Court discharged him and threw out all terrorism charges against him in a ruling on October 13.

In a fresh affidavit filed on Monday before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, the Federal Government maintained that Kanu was a threat to national security and as such, could not be released from the custody of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) where he has been detained since he was arrested in Kenya and extradited to Nigeria last year.

The government argued, that releasing Kanu may impact negatively on the declining security in the South East part of the country.

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The affidavit which was attached in support of an application seeking to stay the execution of the Appeal Court dismissal of the 15-count terrorism charges preferred against the IPOB leader, also reiterated the government’s earlier position that Kanu was a flight risk who would escape from the country once he is released.

An Assistant State Counsel in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, David Kaswe, who represented the Federal Government, argued that the case against Kanu bordered on national security and therefore, his fundamental rights should not supercede the interest of the nation.

READ ALSO:Appeal Court discharges Nnamdi Kanu

“It is important to appreciate the gamut of depositions in our application. The Respondent is a flight risk person and one of the ground of our application is that this matter touches on national security of the state.

“We further rely on the case of FRN Vs Dokubo, where the Supreme Court held that where national security is threatened or when there is likelihood of it being threatened, human rights take secondary place.

“Once there is a threat to national security, human rights of any individual can be suspended until such threat is taken care of.

“Once security of the nation is in jeopardy, the individual right may not even exist,” Kaswe told the court.

The government lawyer added that intelligence report in government’s possession indicated that “releasing the IPOB leader from detention would worsen the security situation in the South East.:

“The defendant has shown that he has the capacity to jump bail or to escape from lawful custody. There is reasonable intelligence that the enforcement of judgement of this court, pending determination of our appeal at the Supreme Court, may impact negatively on the declining security in the South East.

“No court can close its eyes on activities happening around it. As we speak, the entire social media is awash with threat to security in the country.

“We believe that there is an exceptional circumstance to warrant this court to grant our application.

“We urge this court to resolve the sole issue we raised and find our application meritorious, in the interest of justice and unity of the country.”

Source: NgGossips

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