Why Senate rejected motion seeking release of Nnamdi Kanu

A motion seeking the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra was on Wednesday rejected by The Senate. The motion was sponsored by Osita Izunaso, All Progressives Congress (APC) senator representing Imo. The motion was titled “Condemning the disruptive nature of sit-at-home Demonstrations in south-east Nigeria”. The motion was also co-sponsored by all other senators from the south-east region. According to NAN, Izunaso said thousands of innocent lives had been lost since the sit-at-home order started, while properties worth over a trillion naira had been destroyed. This, he said, had resulted in investors leaving the region. “When people are forced to stay at home and businesses remain closed, productivity declines and income is reduced, thereby affecting livelihoods and economic growth,” he said. The senator also said the protests have disrupted the education of students and continually lead to acts of violence and clashes with law enforcement agencies, resulting in loss of lives. “Thus increases the potential for criminal elements to take advantage of the situation to engage in looting or other unlawful activities while the people stay at home,” he added. He said if the activities of Simon Ekpa, a self-acclaimed disciple of Kanu, who was issuing the illegal sit-at-home orders were not checked, he might succeed in corrupting the minds of Nigerian youths and turning them against the government. The senate in its resolutions, condemned the activities of Ekpa and the sit-at-home order but rejected the move to release Kanu. The red chamber invited the minister of foreign affairs when appointed and relevant stakeholders, to carry out a thorough investigation as well as bring other sponsors of the act to book. Explaining why it rejected the move to release Kanu, the Senate said it is because there is an ongoing litigation and the matter is before the court. The senate also observed a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives as a result of the activities of the sit-at-home proponents.