President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, will not be released as his case is already in court.
The president made the declaration in an interview aired on Channels Television on Wednesday.
He said it was not in his tradition to interfere with the judiciary.
Kanu and his co-defendant are facing treasonable felony charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Kanu fled the country in September 2017 after reports that his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, was invaded by the military.
He was however rearrested last year.
It would be recalled that some leaders from the South East of the country where Kanu hails from had approached the president at the Presidential Villa to seek his release.
The president was reported to have said at the time that he would consider the suggestion despite being weighty.
But speaking during the Channels Television interview, the president said he would not want to interfere with the judiciary.
“There is one institution that I wouldn’t interfere with, that is the judiciary. Kanu’s case is with the judiciary. But what I wonder is when Kanu was safely in Europe, abusing this administration and mentioning too many things, I thought he wants to come and defend himself on the accusations.
“So, we are giving him an opportunity to defend himself in our system, not to be abusing us from Europe as if he was not a Nigerian. Let him come here with us and then criticise us here. Nigerians know that I don’t interfere with the judiciary, let him be listened to. But those who are saying that he should be released, no. We cannot release him.”
Speaking on the chances of a political solution to the problem involving Kanu, he said:
“There is a possibility of political solution. If people behave themselves, all well and good but you can’t go to a foreign country and keep on sending incorrect economic and security problems against our country and thinking that you would not account for what you have been doing. Let him account for what he has been doing.”