The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on Monday said the law will take its course in the cases involving separatist leaders Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu.
While Igboho, a campaigner for Yoruba self-determination was arrested in July last year in the Benin Republic and faces trial, Kanu, who is the leader of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), is being prosecuted by the Federal Government.
But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Malami said the Federal Government will not interfere in Igboho’s travails in the Benin Republic.
“It is a matter being prosecuted at a foreign country and within the context of that prosecution, one thing that is visible is that he has been taken into custody on account of breaching the laws applicable in a foreign nation. With that in mind, he is being prosecuted,” he said during the show.
“We will allow the law of the nation that was indeed breached to take its natural course and perhaps, maybe thereafter bringing him back home after the conclusion of the trial over there for the purpose of facing the Nigerian law that was accordingly breached.
“The position of things is that we are not interfering in aborting the existing prosecution in the foreign land, taking into consideration that the laws that were alleged to have been breached were indeed the laws of a foreign nation.”
When asked if the Muhammadu Buhari administration was considering a political solution to free both separatist leaders, the Minister neither confirmed nor denied it. Rather, he said the Federal Government may consider the possibility of a political solution for Igboho after the conclusion of his prosecution in the Benin Republic.
While explaining that there are a lot of possibilities in terms of prosecution, he, however, kept mute on Kanu’s travails.
“Maybe those considerations may be considered or brought to bear when he is eventually brought back after the conclusion of the trial at the foreign nation.
“In terms of prosecution, you cannot rule out any possibility. In terms of prosecution, the laws of the land naturally take their natural course. In our laws, there are a lot of possibilities. One thing I can tell you as it is now, the law is taking its natural course.”
The minister also spoke about efforts made by the current administration in fighting corruption in the country.
He faulted the report by Transparency International that scored Nigeria 24 out of 100 points in the 2021 index, placing the nation as the second most corrupt country in West Africa, after Guinea.
In the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by Transparency International on January 25, Nigeria dropped five places, despite the Federal Government’s avowed fight against graft.
But Malami, who is the chief legal officer, described the rating as baseless, insisting that Buhari’s government has done well.