Home NEWS Ethnic bias behind Nnamdi Kanu’s prolonged detention – Kenneth Okonkwo

Ethnic bias behind Nnamdi Kanu’s prolonged detention – Kenneth Okonkwo

Ethnic bias behind Nnamdi Kanu’s prolonged detention - Kenneth Okonkwo
Ethnic bias behind Nnamdi Kanu’s prolonged detention - Kenneth Okonkwo

Kenneth Okonkwo, a chieftain of the Labour Party (LP), says Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is in prolonged detention because of ethnic bias.

Okonkwo spoke on Wednesday when he was featured on NewsDay, a programme of Arise TV.

The IPOB leader has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since he was extradited from Kenya in June 2021.

He is currently facing terrorism charges filed against him at the federal high court.

In recent months, there have been calls for Kanu’s release, particularly by stakeholders from the south-east region.

In June, 50 members of the house of representatives asked President Bola Tinubu to order Kanu’s release.

On Tuesday, governors under the umbrella of the South-east Governors’ Forum also resolved to meet with Tinubu to seek the release of the separatist leader.

The south-east region has witnessed an uptick in the activities of gunmen who violently enforce a sit-at-home order on Mondays to demand Kanu’s release.


Okonkwo claimed that Kanu is being held in detention due to “ethnic bias,” adding that he has not committed worse crimes like other separatists whose cases in court have been dropped.

“Nnamdi Kanu has not done anything that other people from other zones have done,” he said.

“We know about Sunday Igboho of the Yoruba nation agitator. We know of the Boko Haram people who say that they want a different country where Western education is an abomination.

“These people have been released, not just that they have been released; in the case of Boko Haram, they have been reassimilated into society and given plum jobs.

“Why is Nnamdi Kanu’s case different? There is an ethnic and some unnecessary bias that is keeping that man in jail.

“The government should be wise enough to release this man. You can release him conditionally or unconditionally.

“As a lawyer, I have watched the legal issues very clearly, and I saw that even in the courts, from the high court to the supreme court, there are discordant tunes amongst them.

“Even in the issue of bail, some of the tiers of the court have granted him bail. Even in the issue of the charges, some tiers of the court have quashed all the charges.

“So, you can see that the government has a lot of places it can stand to release the young man and bring peace to the south-east.

“He is now more like a political prisoner. The longer Nnamdi Kanu is in prison, the taller he becomes and the shorter the government becomes.”

Okonkwo asked the federal government to “take the intelligent way out” by releasing Kanu as it did to other separatists.


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