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Buhari insists Nnamdi Kanu must face trial for abusing his regime from Europe

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Mr Buhari said Mr Kanu must answer for “abusing this (his) administration and mentioning many things” against Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari has declined suggestions that he should release separatist agitator Nnamdi Kanu who is in government cell, facing treason charges.

Mr Buhari said Mr Kanu must answer for “abusing this (his) administration and mentioning many things” against Nigeria.

The president expressed these thoughts while answering questions from Channels TV in an interview aired on Wednesday.

“There is one institution that I would dare interfere with, that is the Judiciary. Kanu’s case is with the Judiciary,” Mr Buhari declared. “But what I wonder is when Kanu was safely in Europe abusing this administration and mentioning too many things, I never thought really he wants to voluntarily come and defend himself.

There has been clamour by leaders of the South-East for Mr Kanu, who leads Indigenous People of Biafra, to be released to douse the tension caused by his incarceration in the geopolitical zone.

In November 2021, the president had promised a delegation of Igbo leaders, led by 93-year-old former federal minister, Amaechi Mbazulike, that he would “consider” their request for Mr Kanu’s release though he then admitted that it was a “extremely difficult demand” for him to do.

But when interviewers reminded of his pledge to the Igbo leaders, he insisted that Mr Kanu must face trial.

“For those who are saying that we should release him, no we cannot release him,” Mr Buhari said. “So we are giving him the opportunity to defend himself in our system. Not to be abusing us from Europe as if he was not a Nigerian.”

Probed further, Mr Buhari conceded that “There is a possibility of political solution; if people behave themselves, all well and good, but you can’t go to a foreign country and keep on sending incorrect economic and security problem against your country and thinking that you will never have to account for what you have been doing. Let him account for what he has been doing.”

In June 2021, Mr Kanu was arrested in Kenya and brought to Nigeria to face trial on terrorism charges and for insulting Mr Buhari. Mr Kanu has been in detention ever since with his trial progressing at snail speed.

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