President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was refused bail so he can defend the uncomplimentary things he had said about Nigeria while in Britain.
The president made the disclosure on Thursday at a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on the margins of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.
Reacting to the travails of Kanu who is in the custody of the Department of States Services and is facing charges of treasonable felony at an Abuja Federal High Court, President Buhari denied not allowing the IPOB leader to see his lawyers privately.
He said Kanu is provided with every opportunity under the law “to justify all the uncomplimentary things he had been saying against Nigeria in Britain”.
“He (Kanu) felt very safe in Britain, and said awful things against Nigeria. We eventually got him when he stepped out of the United Kingdom, and we sent him to court,” President Buhari told Johnson.
“Let him defend all that he has said there. His lawyers have access to him. Remember he jumped bail before, how are we sure he won’t do it again if he’s admitted to bail?”
The Commander-in-Chief also assured the UK counterpart that he will not seek a third term in office, saying that the person that tried seeking a third term in office did not end well.
According to Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, the British prime minister had asked if President Buhari would run for office again.
And the President reiterated his resolve to respect the maximum term limit in the Nigerian Constitution, saying: “Another term for me? No! The first person who tried it didn’t end very well.”
Although Buhari did not specifically mention any former Nigerian leader, it is believed he was referring to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo who was in office from 1999 to 2007.
Speaking on the Boko Haram insurgency, Buhari said serious efforts are underway to educate the people on the fact that Boko Haram is anti-God, and not about religion, noting that only an unserious person could kill innocent people and “say Allah Akbar (God is Great)”. According to him, “God is justice. You can’t take innocent souls, and ascribe it to God.”
In his remarks, Johnson expressed delight in the trade relations between both countries, adding that the UK was further reducing tariffs on some goods going to Nigeria.
He described the relationship between the countries as a “very strong attachment”, adding: “I just want to be sure that we are doing enough. It’s a massive partnership for us, and we need to capitalize on it.”