The detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu has denied apologising to President Muhammadu Buhari, former President Goodluck Jonathan and Igbo elders over his comments on them in Radio Biafra.
This clarification came on the heels of some media reports that the Director of Radio Biafra has tendered unreserved apology to these people in his bid to regain his freedom.
Kanu, who spoke through his lawyer, Mr. Vincent Obetta, in a statement obtained by Saturday Sun said: “I denied the ruse making the rounds that my client apologized vide a letter to the President Mohammed Buhari, former President Goodluck Jonathan and some Igbo elders. “Obetta said that Kanu did not address any letter of apology whatsoever to President Buhari, Jonathan or the Igbo elders.
“However, I am aware that in the course of making his statements to the SSS, he acknowledged the fact that certain words he used on these persons/elders during his broadcast were ‘uncomplimentary’, considering the culture and values of the African society to which he belongs.
“He further stated that he may write a letter of apology to the President to express his regret over the use of such words on him. But up till this moment, such letter, to my knowledge, has not been written. And I challenge any body that has a copy of such letter to make it public,” he said.
The IPOB counsel noted that there was nothing unusual in acknowledging certain areas where a person got things wrong and expressed regrets.
“To me, I see it as a mark of good leadership and a show of high level of sportsmanship for him to have been able, at this point, to distinguish between the person of Mr. President and the bad leadership in the Nigeria federation, particularly when the problems that gave rise to the present agitation existed several decades preceding the current regime.
“I am still confused as to what and why the statement is causing furor in the media. If the innuendo is to say that by that he is or is intending to abandon his cause, then the propagators of this hype have lost the round.
“At the last time I had meeting with him, he openly told me that he is committed to his cause and was ready to sacrifice anything in the process than abandoning the cause.
“According to him, he is apologetic to the elders to whom he had used uncomplimentary words, but unapologetic to the pursuit of the agitation for the self-determination of his people,” Obetta said.
He also expressed dismay that the president is still adamant in releasing the detained Kanu.
“I was disappointed to hear this. It is one of the gloomy words I have ever heard from a democratically elected president. If the president has such powers in a democracy, there would be no necessity of running a three-tier government where the judiciary, as one arm of government, interprets the law. How did we arrive at this point?
“It is anachronistic and opprobrious to the judicial arm of government for an elected President to detain a suspect indefinitely even in the face of a subsisting order of a court of competent jurisdiction barely on the strength of an investigation report by law enforcement agency which is still subject to judicial scrutiny.
“If Mr. President maintains a hardline position in this respect, it therefore means we have to rewrite our constitution to shift the burden of proof to the accused as well as expunge the ‘presumption of innocence’ as enshrined in our laws. But until that is done, I urge those concerned to release my client ‘unconditionally’ as ordered by the Federal High Court on the 17th December, 2015.”
Obetta, however, said that despite the challenges they are facing in the case of Kanu, their confidence in the Nigerian judiciary is still intact, saying that they would continue to ventilate their grievances through the courts
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