By Uche Amunike
The former Attorney General of Edo state and National President of Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Osagie Obayuwana, has recommended that the trial of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, leader, Nnamdi kanu will be among one of the most popular trials in the history of Nigeria.
He made this assertion in Benin City, while reacting to Kanu’s arrest, saying that all eyes were on the Federal Government as to how his case will play out, citing that his dual citizenship will definitely come to play during the trial.
His words: ‘As we speak, Kanu is innocent before the law, not until proven otherwise. For people to start speculating that he enjoys dual citizenship and so for that reason, Britain should protest and demand his repatriation’.
We have had historical trials like this before now. Nelson Mandela was tried, Fidel Castro was also tried. Even in this country, Obafemi Awolowo and Anthony Enahoro were tried’.
‘Sentiments aside, he has been accused of specific offences, the stage should be prepared with credible evidence to prove otherwise’.
He further faulted those who claim that Kanu’s arrest will further worsen the already tense situation of the country, especially in the South East, saying that it was important for Kanu to face the situation squarely by answering any questions expected of him, so as to have himself cleared once and for all while those who have all it took to exonerate him should come forward and do so.
‘The fragile security situation of the country is not an excuse not to proceed with his trials. Those who believe he is innocent and supporting his course should visit the venue for the trial. This very issue is supposed to be a public trial’.
‘Nelson Mandela had the opportunity to talk about what motivated him while he rebelled against the system that indicted him’, he said
‘Kanu should not be kept in prison custody for a longer time than is necessary. This is not a matter of media trial or media hype, a situation where all kinds of things are alleged against him in the media’.
‘The law requires proof beyond the reasonable doubt. If there are witnesses that are believable, credible they should be cross-examined’ he added.
Recall that Nnamdi Kanu was extradited weeks ago to Nigeria by the Federal government, 4 years after he jumped bail and has already been arraigned at the Federal High Court before Justice Binta Nyako.
Since his arrest, individuals, civil society groups, and different pressure groups have clamoured for a free and fair trial for him. Federal government has been strongly advised to handle his trial with caution in other to avoid sparking off violent reactions especially in the south east and south south zones in the country.
The general public opinion is that arresting Nnamdi Kanu will not solve the problem, but rather cause unnecessary tension in the already tensed polity.