Former Abia state governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, on
Friday met the detained leader of the Indigenous
People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in an effort to
broker a political solution to his trial for alleged
Mr. Kanu was arrested by the operatives of the
State Security Service on October 14 and was
charged alongside three others, David Nwawuisi,
Benjamin Madubugwu and Chidiebere Onwudiwe,
with treasonable felony.
After the meeting, Mr. Kalu, who defected recently
to the ruling All Progressives Congress, told
journalists in Abuja that the detainees had given
him the “go-ahead to talk on their behalf” with the
The former governor was optimistic that supporters
of Mr. Kanu would now be more cooperative with
the authorities, following his discussion with their
He said the discussion will form the basis for an
interface between the Federal Government and Mr.
He added that the planned talk would have the
view to end Mr. Kanu’s trial.
“I came to talk to him to talk to his supporters. I
think they will have a change of attitude. We are all
Nigerians. If both himself and the Federal
Government are genuinely interested, we can come
to a common ground. It is a possibility,” said Mr.
On the decision of the Federal High Court hearing
the case against Mr. Kanu and his colleagues to
grant partial protection to prosecution witnesses,
Mr. Kalu said the practice has long existed.
“The protection of witnesses is nothing new in law.
We can do that but it may not get to that stage; if
we talk to each other well. It is possible to settle
out of court if both parties are realistic.
“Now he has given me the go-ahead to talk on his
behalf. And if I can speak on his behalf, then the
process will begin; and if things go as they ought
to, we might not get to the stage of having to
require protection of witnesses.
“If he trusts me and the Federal Government trusts
me, I don’t see how this will not work. I know the
government well. I am a member of the ruling
party. So I can use my position well,” Mr. Kalu
The former governor explained that his visit was in
line with the United Nations’ charter on human
rights and in furtherance of his duty to the state he
“My visit to Kanu is in compliance with the United
Nation’s charter that, anyone who is in prison
should frequently be visited.
“I decided to come and visit him as a younger
brother and as a former governor of Abia State;
once you become a governor, you have a duty to
always protect your people.
Mr. Kanu and the three other members of IPOB are
being tried at the Abuja Division of the Federal High
The court had on December 17, 2015 ordered the
SSS to release Mr. Kanu unconditionally. But that
ruling, delivered by Justice Adeniyi Ademola who
is being accused of fraud and is currently being
prosecuted, was upturned by another judge, John
Tsoho, in January.
Shortly after the ruling refusing him bail, Mr. Kanu
declared no confidence in Mr. Tsoho’s impartiality,
forcing the judge to withdraw from the matter.
Subsequently, the case was transferred to another
judge, Binta Nyako. Mrs. Nyako also refused the
same bail application for the defendant on
In recent weeks, Mr. Kanu’s court appearance had
been occasioned by commotion caused by his
supporters at the court premises.
During the last sitting on December 13, Mr. Kanu’s
supporters clashed with prison officials after he
made some remarks against President
Mr. Kanu hails from Isiam Afara Local Government
Area of Abia state.