Release IPOB Leader Now, Salis Urges Tinubu

Ugo Aliogo

A United States-based lawyer, High Chief Owolabi Salis, has made a strong case for the release of the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

The Ikorodu-born Lagosian, who in 2019 contested in the state governorship election on the platform of Alliance For Democracy (AD), said there is an urgent need to release the IPOB leader, as he has been held in preventive detention for excessively too long.

He said: “Remember that the embattled young man had languished in detention since 2015, during which he had been in and out of hospital due to his health, which had been gravely imperiled.

“Moreover, there had been injunctions from the court ruling that he should be released. I am therefore of the strong opinion that Kanu should not be held a minute longer, but release immediately without delay in the interest of justice.

“Politically, by releasing Kanu, Tinubu would further be endearing the general mass of the Igbos not only to himself, but his administration, with the immensely unifying and integrative effect for national growth, peace and stability.” 

“Just as the presidential Prerogative of Mercy would also go a long way in availing the much-needed balm to erase the hitherto lingering wound of the Biafran experience.”

He added: “The gesture would also be in keeping with the genetic and culturally endemic passion of the Yorubas for fairness and justice and their historical antecedents as the earliest race to embrace Western education and its associated system of Western liberal democracy and belief in the rule of law.

“It will also align with your antecedents as a NADECO activist during the harrowing era of military despotism, and your unflagging pursuit of the rule of law, especially through the several legal litigations initiated by you against the prevailing powers of the moment in the pursuit of social justice, during your years as governor of Lagos State and your post-governorship years as the arrowhead of the progressives and the forces of political opposition.”

According to Salis, the government could tie his release on the legally binding proviso of signing an affidavit of good behaviour, shunning any form of incitement, divisive and hate pronouncements, if released.

“I’m sure that by now, the IPOB leader would have learnt a lot going by his severely traumatising experience in the cause of his protracted spell of incarceration. I have no doubt that he has already turned a new leaf.

“Besides, we should also not forget that the likes of Sowore and Igboho were also pardoned in the past. If by this token, government refuses to pardon Kanu, and along the line, something terrible suddenly happens to him, the consequences may not be too good for national peace and stability, this is why I am making a passionate plea for his pardon.” S

Salis, popularly known as Oba Mekunu (King of the poor in Lagos and New York), while enjoining the government and the citizens of the country to shun every vestige of prejudice which possibly might be harboured against the Ibos, and rather accept them as fellow brothers in the drive towards a greater Nigeria, he also admonished the Igbos on the other hand, to shed every toga of Biafran separatism for the collectively encompassing vision of national unity.

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