Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has said his administration was implementing “a different approach” to secure the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Otti revealed this while answering questions from journalists at a media parley in Umuahia on Sunday night, according to a Channels TV report.
The governor said the “different approach” would not be made public until it had produced the desired results.
He noted that he has been working clandestinely to secure the release of the IPOB leader despite not disclosing his efforts to the media.
“I believe in results more than media advertising. We don’t want media noise. “We are working very hard to secure her (Kanu’s) release,” she said.
The governor said President Bola Tinubu’s administration was not responsible for Mr Kanu’s imprisonment.
“My personal position is that the new government does not need to inherit what was wrong with the previous administration,” Otti said of Kanu’s case with the Nigerian government.
The governor expressed optimism that his new approach would produce the desired result.
Kanu was first arrested in 2015 under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The IPOB leader was later granted bail in April 2017. He fled the country after an invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, by the Nigerian Army in September this year.
He was rearrested in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria in June 2021, about four years after he fled the country.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on October 13, 2022, held that the IPOB leader was extraordinarily surrendered to Nigeria and that the action constituted a flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and also a violation of his fundamental human rights.
The court therefore dismissed the terrorism charges brought against Kanu by the Nigerian government and ordered his release from the premises of the State Security Service (SSS) in Abuja.
But the government refused to release the IPOB leader, insisting that he (Kanu) may not be available in subsequent court proceedings if he is released and that his release would cause insecurity in the South East, where he hails from.
The government, through the attorney general of the federation, subsequently appealed the court ruling and subsequently obtained an order to stay its execution before the Supreme Court.
Several South East leaders such as Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State and his Enugu State counterpart Peter Mbah have repeatedly called on the Nigerian government to release the IPOB leader to end insecurity in the region.
But the government has not yet agreed to their request.
On November 3, 2022, Kanu, through one of his lawyers, Mike Ozekhome, filed an appeal against the suspension of the execution order before the Supreme Court.
The court has not yet resumed hearing on the appeal.
However, earlier this month, the court said it would rule on December 15 in the Nigerian government’s appeal challenging the Court of Appeal’s earlier ruling freeing Mr. Kanu.