By Marcus Ikechukwu
The National Security Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, deliberated on the recent Appeal Court judgement setting the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, free but failed to reach a decision on whether to obey the verdict or not.
Speaking on behalf of the Security Council, Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, said Kanu was discharged but not acquitted despite the judgement of the appellate court.
Mohammed Dingyadi, the Minister of Police Affairs, corroborated Aregbesola, saying there was no political solution discussed at the Council on the matter, adding that issues concerning Kanu were on the court’s outcome.
Dingyadi said the Council was considering an appropriate action to take and would notify Nigerians of its final position on the matter in due course.
He stated that the Council supported the statement by Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, shortly after the appeal court verdict to free Kanu.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has received the news of the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the trial of Nnamdi Kanu,” the statement signed by Malami’s spokesperson, Dr Umar Jibril Gwandu, said
“For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the Court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted. Consequently, the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public.
“The decision handed down by the Court of Appeal was on a single issue that borders on rendition. Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predate rendition on the basis of which Kanu jumped bail remain valid issues for judicial determination.”
“The Federal Government will consider all available options open to us on the judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues.”
Those at the meeting are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd); and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.
Others are the Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd); Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; and Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi.
Also at the meeting are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who led the service chiefs, including the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao.
The Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman; the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar and the Chief of Defense Intelligence, Major General Samuel Adebayo, were also at the meeting.