The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has ruled out the idea of granting pardon to the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who is standing trial for terrorism-related charges.
KanyiDaily recalls that some respected Igbo elders, led by Minister of Aviation in the First Republic, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, had visited President Buhari in Aso Rock, Abuja, and requested the unconditional release of Kanu.
Buhari assured the Igbo leaders that he would consider their request, even though he acknowledged that their demand was very difficult because it runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive and Judiciary.
Reacting to the request by Igbo leaders that President Buhari should release Nnamdi Kanu, Malami said the IPOB leader would continue his trial because a political solution is not an option yet.
Malami explained that the idea of a pardon for Kanu is premature because he is still standing trial before a court of law, so pardoning him is not on the table at the moment.
The AGF 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 background of the fact that the trial associated with him has not been concluded. But one thing that I can tell you clearly is that he is standing trial and the trial continues as at today”.
When asked if he believed that a political solution will help douse the tension in the country, Malami said, “I am not ruling out any possibility but that is not immediately on the table. I have not accessed the implication of that in terms of being a solution or a problem.
“As a human and as attorney general of the federation, my reasoning, thinking and thoughts are regulated by the public interests. So, it is the public interest that will guide and influence my decision.
“As to the possibility of accommodating the out-of-court settlement, one thing I can tell you clearly is that settlement is not right now on the table. it is a bridge that I like enjoy crossing when I get to it.”
Meanwhile, Northern Elders have advised President Buhari against interfering in Nnamdi Kanu’s judicial process, adding that there was no basis for him to grant the Southeast elders’ request.