There was wild jubilation in the South-East on Thursday following the Court of Appeal judgment which quashed the terrorism charges preferred against the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Across parts of the South-East states, people celebrated openly on hearing the reports that the court had discharged Kanu who has been in custody since June 2021 when he was arrested in Kenya and brought to Nigeria to face prosecution for leading an outlawed organisation and clamouring for the Republic of Biafra.
However, there are strong indications that the Federal Government may appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
A senior official in the Ministry of Justice confided in our correspondent that the government would study the ruling and take a decision on it.
“All options are on the table; we will study the order but we will likely appeal it. The court only discharged him, it did not acquit him,’’ the director stated.
Reacting, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, in a statement said, “The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has received the news of the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the trial of Nnamdi Kanu. For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the Court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted.
“Consequently, the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public. The decision handed down by the court of appeal was on a single issue that borders on rendition. Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predates rendition on the basis of which Kanu jumped bail remain valid issues for judicial determination.
“The Federal Government will consider all available options open to us on the judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues.”
Our correspondent in Owerri observed celebrations and parties at Imo state University Junction area, Ikenegbu, Amakohia, Orji, Okigwe Road and flyover junction.
At the flyover junction, a commercial driver was seen shouting and honking that Nnamdi Kanu has been freed at last. He said, “Victory at last. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been freed. It is victory for Biafra.”
At IMSU junction, groups of youths were seen at different locations shouting and singing following the development.
The situation was also the same in Enugu as there was spontaneous celebrations when news filtered in that the court had ordered Kanu’s release.
Many youths took to the major streets as they discussed the development in groups.
They were hopeful that Kanu’s release would end the Monday sit-at-home restriction enforced by IPOB members in the South-East.
In Anambra State, drinking spots and fun centres made brisk business as residents trooped to relaxation spots in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi and Ekwulobia.
At the Upper Iweka in Onitsha, youths and adults, including men and women displayed massive fireworks while chanting pro-Biafran songs.
In Abia State, It was an atmosphere of joy in Umuahia and Aba areas as family and friends of the IPOB leader rejoiced over the news Kanu’s release.