Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), says the team set up by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, to monitor the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is unnecessary but welcome.
Kanu was extradited to Nigeria to face trial after jumping bail in 2017.
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He was arraigned before Binta Nyako, the presiding judge, who ruled that he should be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) till July 26.
Alex Ogbonnia, the group’s spokesperson, had said a legal team has been set up to monitor the trial.
In a statement on Monday, Umar Gwandu, Malami’s spokesman, said the attorney-general welcomes the monitoring group, which is “in line with the doctrine of the right of fair hearing rooted in section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
He said the Igbo group had also demonstrated in their position on the matter, that they align with the rule of law, while maintaining their stance that they are not against Kanu’s trial.
“In similar vein the group showed a mature departure from the mindset of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, when Ohanaeze said they ‘do not support the use of any form of violence’, while channeling concerns and presenting demands,” the statement reads.
“By urging the youths to be law-abiding and sheath their sword as well as asking them to try to obtain voter’s card to enable them contribute to national development, the position of Ohanaeze becomes glaringly constitutional and commendable.
“Let it be made abundantly clear that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government respects the rule of law and does not advocate for the breach of law. Hence, with or without the so-called monitoring group, justice will be adequately served to Nnamdi Kanu in compliance with the enshrined provisions of the law.
“It is hoped that the unnecessary legal monitoring group will come with open-mind and guided by nothing but the rule of law in the process so as to convey the judgment of the Court as may eventually be delivered to their people in various languages and dialects of the members of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo communities and the entire Nigerians.”
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