Apex Igbo socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide yesterday demanded a fair trial for Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
It said he should be tried within the ambit of the law and in line with global best practices.
Ohanaeze, which spoke for the first time since Kanu’s arrest, said it had constituted a legal team, led by its national legal adviser to monitor the proceedings.
It identified with Igbo youths on their grievances about marginalisation and the menace of killer herdsmen, urging them to exercise restraint while the issues are resolved through dialogue.
Ohanaeze stated these in a communiqué issued after its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at its secretariat in Enugu, signed by its spokesman, Alex Ogbonnia, yesterday.
The communique reads in part: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has observed with keen interest the recent re-arraignment and consequent trial of our son, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“In as much as Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not averse to the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, we, however, submit that he should be tried within the ambit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in line with global best practices.
“As part of our avowed determination to ensure the fair trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, we have constituted a legal team led by the National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and eminent Igbo leaders to monitor the legal proceedings, throughout the trial…
“We identify with the Igbo youths in their grievances with respect to Igbo marginalisation, the menace of the Fulani herdsmen, etc.
“However, we do not support the use of any form of violence to redress the relative deprivation and prevailing inequality and injustice across the country.
“We, therefore, urge the youths to be law-abiding and sheath their sword as the Southeast leaders and stakeholders address these our collective grievances through meaningful dialogue and negotiations.
“We, therefore, urge Ndigbo particularly the youths to take the ongoing voters’ registration exercise seriously, as this is the only means that guarantees effective participation in Nigerian politics and a sine qua non to achieving our goals and aspirations in the Nigeria project.”