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Idea of pardoning Nnamdi Kanu is premature – Malami



Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, has stated that pardoning the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, is premature.

Mr Malami made the remarks while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.

Malami opined that “Pardon is a function of conviction in the Nigerian context and as far as I know, Nnamdi Kanu has not been convicted yet, so the idea of pardoning him is premature.”

To bolster his point, the minister noted that the Kanu trials had not yet concluded, and thus the pardon option could not be considered.


While stating that he is not ruling out the possibility, Malami said that pardoning Kanu is not an option at this time.

In response to a question about the IPOB leader’s pardon being an option for South-East peace, the AGF stated that he has yet to assess the security implications of such a decision.

Nevertheless, the Minister of Justice stated that if the opportunity for a pardon for the IPOB leader presents itself, the public’s best interests would be a significant consideration.

Malami’s remarks come just days after South-East leaders met with President Muhammadu Buhari to plead for Kanu’s pardon.

Buhari told the leaders who came to see him under the auspices of the Highly Respected Igbo Greats that the request for Kanu’s release is an extremely difficult demand on him as the leader of this country.


The President said, “the implication” is dire. An unconditional release of Kanu, who is standing trial, according to the President, runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive and judiciary.

He emphasized his policy of non-interference with the judiciary when Kanu jumped bail, was arrested and returned to the country.

“I said the best thing was to subject him to the system,” Buhari added.

President Buhari went on to say that Kanu should go to court rather than spread negative stereotypes about the country.

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