Release of Nnamdi Kanu ‘ll not affect Labour Party, Umeh assures – System on ground doesn’t support rigging

Alphonsus Nweze

The Labour Party senatorial candidate for Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, Chief Victor Umeh, has allayed the fears of many supporters of the party and its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, that the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) may derail the presidential ambition of Obi.

Umeh who is a member of the Party’s Presidential Campaign Council said the release has nothing to do with Labour Party and its presidential candidate.

The Appeal Court had in its judgement weeks ago discharged Kanu but the Federal Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Mallami (SAN), refused to release the IPOB leader on the ground that he has not been acquitted.

Consequently, they filed an Appeal at Supreme Court, praying them to also stay the execution of the judgment, which the Appellate Court has turned down.

But Umeh expressed shock at the delay in releasing Kanu and the decision to appeal the judgment.

He said Kanu’s release was very crucial to his fundamental right, and stressed that the Court has pronounced him not guilty of any charge, therefore should be discharged.
“The Federal Government should do what the court has said. We have to run the society based on rule of law. The Government has no business disobeying the Court. I don’t see the special interest the Government has in going to appeal the judgment,” said Senator Umeh.

He continued “Disappointedly, I heard that the Federal Government has gone to Supreme Court to appeal the judgment.But on points of law, I do not think the Supreme Court will set aside the judgment of Appeal Court. So, what they are doing is delaying the release of Kanu because justice is on his side. And I am sure Supreme Court will concur with the judgment of Appeal Court.”

Consequently, after being turned back by the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal as the appropriate court for the delay of execution sought by the federal government, the appeal court succeeded in granting FG a stay of execution on Kanu.

However, Umeh expressed confidence in the commitment of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible election in January, 2023.

In spite of the assurances of the Chairman of INEC that the body will conduct credible election, civil society organisations have expressed doubt over the preparedness of the electoral umpire to live up to the expectations of Nigerians and international community.

Umeh, a veteran of electoral struggle said he doesn’t want to be pessimistic about INEC’s ability to conduct 2023 general election, because it would be a reverse of what they have been doing, if it fails to conduct free and fair election next year.

He said: “The system on the ground will not support any rigging and there is no way they can change the system. So, nobody can change it.” He concluded

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