The National Security Council has clarified the Federal Government’s position on the status of the case against leader of proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
It said Kanu still has a case to answer.
An Appeal Court, in Abuja on Thursday thrashed the case of terrorism leveled against Kanu, a decision which caused frenzy in many quarters.
It was translated to mean his likely immediate release from detention.
However, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said Kanu had not been acquitted as there are other cases against him.
Towing same line of reason, the National Security Council, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, said government is considering the next step to take on the matter in due course, but noted that Kanu had not been acquitted, though discharged of some issues in the cases against him.
Addressing State House Correspondents after the Council meeting, the Minister of Police Affairs Maigari Dingyadi, joined by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor, said what would become of the case against Kanu would be decided in coming days.
“Similarly, the issue of Kanu has also been raised and Council was briefed on the state of things on the matter and it was observed that Kanu was discharged, but he was not acquitted.
“So, government is considering the appropriate action to be taken on the matter and Nigerians will be notified of the position that will finally be taken on the matter in due course”, Dingyadi said.
He said the council only discussed the Appeal Court judgment, but noted that solutions to these kind of matters can be considered as long as they are not subjudice.
On the recent disagreement between the Kogi State government and Dangote Cement, the Minister of Police Affairs, Dingyadi, informed that an agreement has been achieved to ensure the re-opening of the cement company in Obajana to give room for peace on the matter.
“An agreement has been reached between the Kogi State government and the Dangote Cement in Kogi on the need to re-open the factory and ensure that there is peace in the State. Government is committed to the provision of employment to its citizens rather than closing factories that will make people unemployed and we do hope that the parties involved will respect this agreement and come to terms with the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties involved,” the Police Affairs Minister explained.
Dingyadi said the agreement was reached under the supervision of the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
Speaking on same matter, Minister of Interior, Aregbesola, said “the council noted the development in Kogi and has ordered the reopening of the cement factory that is closed down, has advised that all issues relating to that industry or factory should be resolved legally, nobody must take law into their hands, either as a government or an individual.
“We are committed to guaranteeing and providing employment for Nigerians, so whatever will, in any way, hinder that must be discouraged. So, in that regard, the cement industry in Obajana must be reopened and all issues that are in disputed should be resolved legally”, he said.
The Council also directed the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF), to set up a high-powered investigation committee into the crude oil theft in the Niger Delta with a view to unraveling the extend and those behind it.
Disclosing this at the briefing, Aregbesola said “now, on the issue of crude oil theft, the Council has decided that the National Security Adviser should put in place a strong team to investigate all issues relating to the discoveries of either abandoned oil pipelines, or illegal crude oil pipelines, so as to determine, one, the extent of such illegalities and perpetrators of such, and put a report for the Council and the president.
Also speaking on the order of Council, Chief of Defense Staff stressed that the military will sustain its tempo of fighting oil theft.
“Activities of the Armed Forces and other security agencies within the oil and gas base were also commended, but with the directive to sustain the pressure and it is our resolve to deal decisively with those who have been involved in those illegal acts,” he said
Meanwhile, Council has also directed the immediate stoppage of all illegal mining activities across Nigeria.
Speaking on this, Aregbesola said security and intelligence agencies have also been directed to enforce the order.
“All security agencies have been ordered to check illegal mining all over the country. Illegal mining operations and activities in the country are ordered to be stopped and all security and intelligence agencies are to enforce this,” he said.
He further disclosed that the Security Council is committed to ensuring a free and transparent electoral process as Nigeria prepares for its general elections next year.
He therefore, urged politicians to pursue their democratic ambitions with decorum and in accordance with the laws of the land.
“That is the decision of the council. We are committed to ensuring a transparent free and fair electoral process in the coming elections and all the processes leading to it. So, we enjoin all political parties, individuals and Nigerians to pursue their democratic rights and interest with decorum. All security forces and agencies are advised to maintain the law,” he added.
Also, General Irobor disclosed that the 101 former terrorist group members, who were released from prison recently, comprising those from the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) groups, were moved from detention facilities for de-radicalization.
“Council was also briefed that a total of 101 ex-combatants were taken to Operation Safe Corridor and are currently undergoing the process of de-radicalization at the centre. These were people that have been in detention for several years; some of whom had served their jail terms, others were awaiting trial but because of the long time they have been detained and in line with the procedures for handling anyone who have been involved with terrorism, they have to be moved to the centre”, he explained