President Muhammadu Buhari says he will consider the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Early this month, traditional and religious leaders in the south-east had asked the president to grant amnesty to Kanu to deescalate tension in the zone.
According to a statement issued by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, Buhari made a commitment to the effect on Friday when he hosted a group led by Mbazulike Amaechi, former minister of aviation.
The 93-year-old statesman, while addressing the president, appealed for the release of Kanu who is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Buhari said though the unconditional release of Kanu contradicts the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive and judiciary, he will consider it.
“You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the judiciary,” he said.
“God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.
“I said the best thing was to subject him to the system (judiciary). Let him make his case in court, instead of giving very negative impressions of the country from the outside. I feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity.”
Kanu is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him in response to years of the campaign for the Republic of Biafra through IPOB.