The World Igbo Congress (WIC) has issued an appeal to the Supreme Court, urging the judiciary to order the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The apex court is poised to make a crucial decision on Kanu’s fate today, and various groups have joined the chorus calling for his release.
In a statement released on Thursday, Dr. Festus Okere, the Chairman of WIC, asserted that Nnamdi Kanu is a freedom fighter and a prominent advocate for Igbo interests within the Nigerian polity. The WIC implored the Supreme Court to disregard any rumored pressure to postpone the scheduled December 15 judgment day.
According to the WIC, Kanu’s extraordinary rendition from Kenya and his prolonged detention constitute political persecution that must be brought to an end. The statement emphasized the court’s prior ruling that the classification of IPOB as a terrorist group violated the Nigerian Constitution, confirming that IPOB is a non-violent organization advocating for the right of self-determination for the Igbo people.
The WIC highlighted the perception of Kanu’s detention as a result of discriminatory practices against the Igbo, especially during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. The organization stressed that Kanu became collateral damage in what it termed the Federal Government of Nigeria’s unjustified and unconstitutional persecution of the Igbo.
The statement expressed concern over Kanu’s health conditions and the denial of appropriate medical treatment despite being in solitary confinement since June 27, 2021. The WIC, while acknowledging the negative perception of the Supreme Court among the Nigerian populace, emphasized its belief that the court would uphold the rule of law, including the right to free speech and freedom of association enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
The WIC anticipated that the Supreme Court would align with the judgments of subordinate courts and various international tribunals, all of which have consistently called for the unconditional and immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu. The organization concluded by affirming its confidence in the Supreme Court as the last hope of the common man.