The federal government of Nigeria has noted that it would soon come up with a final decision on the on-going terrorism trial of, Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
This was one of the resolutions at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting held yesterday at the State House, Abuja with President Muhammadu Buhari presiding.
During a judgment delivered on Thursday in a three-member panel of the appellate court, led by Hanatu Sankey, Kanu was discharged Kanu after the court ruled that the federal government flouted the Terrorism Act, Extradition Act and also violated international conventions and treaties guiding extraditions, thus, breaching the rights of the respondent.
The court held that having illegally and forcefully renditioned the appellant, the trial court was stripped of jurisdiction to continue to try Kanu.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, said the Council resolved to take an appropriate step on the ruling and Kanu’s further trial.
He said: “The issue of Kanu was 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, the 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 in due course.
The Security Council also directed that the Dangote Cement factory at Obajana in Kogi State should be re-opened for business.
The council asked the parties involved to seek judicial determination of the ownership of the cement factory.
Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, who also briefed newsmen, said the commitment of government towards resolving the issue legally, made the Council to order its re-opening.
Aregbesola said: “The council noted the development in Kogi and has ordered the reopening of the cement factory; it has also 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 dispute should be resolved legally.”
Aregbesola also disclosed that the Council had mandated the National Security Adviser and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to set up a strong team to investigate the crude oil theft in the Niger Delta and report back to it.
“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.
“That is, a committee will be set up by the NSA, in conjunction with the SGF, to investigate this issue of oil bunkering because of the serious economic importance and to ensure that all those involved are brought to book.”
On his part, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor told newsmen that the Council was also briefed that 101 ex-combatants who were taken to Operation Safe Corridor are currently undergoing the process of de-radicalisation at the center.
According to him: “These were ex-combatants that have been in detention for several years, some of whom have served their terms. Others were those that were awaiting trial, but because of the long time that they’ve been involved and in line with the protocol or the procedure for handling anyone who has been exposed to terrorism or related offenses, the procedure for them to be taken through a process of de-radicalisation.”
Irabor also stated that states have no power to procure automatic weapons for their security outfits.
While inaugurating the first batch of personnel of the state’s security outfit last August, Governor Samuel Ortom had said sophisticated weapons would be provided for them.
On his part, Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, in September said the state would procure arms for operatives of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun.
Speaking on the development, Irabor said the licence for the procurement of automatic weapons – such as AK-47 – lies with the agencies of the federal government.
He said: “Firearms fall into two major categories. You have the automatic weapons and the ones that we may classify as non-automatic weapons, which some of you may even have if you have the appropriate licences – talking about the pump action which are the very common ones, and sometimes even the dane guns some of the hunters use.
“What is involved in the class mentioned has to do with automatic weapons. There’s no state that has been given a licence for that. So, you do not ask for what you do not have power to acquire.”
Others at the security meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao and the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.).
Also, in attendance were the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman; the Director-General of the Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar and the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Samuel Adebayo.
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