Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has urged the federal government to adhere strictly to the rule of law in continuation of the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Abaribe and two others — Emmanuel Shallom-Ben and Tochukwu Uchendu — had stood as sureties for Kanu before he was granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja on April 25, 2017.
In January 2019, Abaribe asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to relieve him of the suretyship for Kanu after the IPOB leader slipped out of Nigeria.
Kanu was arrested and flown into Nigeria on Sunday, according to Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
The IPOB leader appeared before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.
The judge ordered that he should be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) till July 26.
Abaribe, in a statement by his media adviser, Uchenna Awom, on Wednesday, advised the federal government to be guided by the provisions of Section 31 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights as it detains and re-arraigns Kanu in court for his trial.
The relevant section and charter, he said, presupposes that the detainee should be humanely treated while in the custody of the state.
“What it means is that it is the duty of the government in this instance to protect him and ensure the respect of his fundamental human rights while his trial lasts. For now, it is trite law, that he is presumed innocent until proven guilty”, Abaribe said.
However, the Minority Leader called for calm saying that the recent events present ample opportunity for dialogue and for the federal government to address the contending issues that seems to challenge the peace and unity of the country.