Nnamdi Kanu denounces S’East killings, seeks negotiation with FG.

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday, denounced the killings in the South-East over the group’s agitation for secession.

He also appealed for an out-of-court settlement of his ongoing treason trial by the Federal Government.

The IPOB leader, who has been in detention since 2021 following his re-arrest in Kenya and repatriation to Nigeria, made the appeal on Wednesday when he appeared for the continuation of his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

A viral video clip on Wednesday captured him denouncing killings in the South-East fuelled by IPOB’s agitation for separation of the Igbo from Nigeria.

In a conversation with his lawyers, who pointed out to him that he needed to speak up to stop the killings, Kanu said, “I condemn any manner of killing. Every manner of killing, I condemn in its entirety.

“I want people to understand that IPOB was founded on a non-violent principle and we maintain that up till this very day. Some of these soldiers, we’re told, are also our people. And the families are now in mourning. All the making of young widows is condemned in its entirety. I don’t want it, I don’t want anybody to die.

“We are fighting for freedom, then how can we fight death at the same time? It’s not possible; we want people to be free. That’s all we’re fighting for, nothing more.

“We’ve suffered a lot in Africa, I don’t know if you know that. Africans have suffered – from slavery in (Saudi) Arabia, to slavery in Europe, to slavery in America. So, I think we should focus our time and devote it towards making sure that this continent stands up to what God promised is going to be.”

At the proper court proceedings, Kanu, through his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, informed Justice Binta Nyako and the prosecuting counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), that “the defence wants the case settled out of court”.

Ejimakor complained to the court that the Department of State Services, which is keeping Kanu in custody, had not fully complied with the orders of the court to allow the legal team unfettered and free access to the defendant in order to prepare him for his trial.

The lawyer complained that Kanu’s cell was bugged by the DSS, making the lawyers conscious during their meetings.

He added that this has led the legal team to resolve to initiate contempt proceedings against the Director General of the DSS for refusing to obey the court’s order which had directed the DSS to grant Kanu an unbugged “safe room” space for meeting with his lawyers.

Ejimakor asked the court to on its own, invoke Section 17 of the Federal High Court Act, which he stated, provides for “reconciliation” and facilitation of amicable settlement in criminal or civil matters.

He said he had previously discussed the proposition with the prosecution counsel and who had told him the proper time for such an issue had not come.

The Federal Government’s lawyer, Awomolo, however, told the court that it was not in his place to seek an out-of-court settlement of the matter.

Awomolo told Kanu’s team to “approach the Attorney General of the Federation, on such issues as the power to grant such resides with him.”

He noted that the AGF was the one with the power to approach the court for an out-of-court settlement.

The prosecutor stressed that he did not have the order of the Federal Government to embark on such negotiation with the defendant.

 “I told him to go to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who has the power. If he is interested in negotiating he should go there, his office is just here,” Awomolo said.

In response, Justice Nyako said the court had no proper with Kanu’s proposition for an out-of-court settlement and advised him to approach the AGF for the possibility.

She, however, ordered the DSS to provide an “unbugged space” for Kanu to meet with his lawyers each time they were at the facility to prepare him for trial.

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