Former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, on Friday said that his visit to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was to secure his endorsement to begin an out-of-court settlement with the Federal Government to drop the treason charges against him and others for agitating for Biafra.
The former governor, who arrived Kuje Prison in Abuja, around noon, later held a private meeting with Kanu, which lasted about an hour before emerging to address journalists on his mission to the reformatory. Kalu said that he had a fruitful discussion with Kanu including his approval to speak with the federal government on his behalf.
Kalu said: “My visit to Kanu is in compliance with the United Nation’s Charter on Human Rights. It means 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. I came to plead with him to talk to his supporters. I think they will have a change of attitude.
Dr Kalu said a peace deal and out-of-court settlement with the Federal Government was still a possibility, which he said might be explored by both parties.
“It is possible that with this discussion, we will find an interface between the Federal Government and Kanu. It is a possibility. We are all Nigerians. If both he and the Federal Government are genuinely interested, we can come to a common ground.
“I am a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and it is my duty to work in the interest of the government and my people. We are not leaving anything to chance.
“Now he (Kanu) 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 do not see why this will not work. I know the government well. I am a member of the ruling party. So I can use my position well to make this work.”
The former governor, who also makes reference to the ongoing court trial of Kanu, said: “The protection of witnesses is nothing new in law. We can do that, but when we get to that stage, we will talk to each other well. It is possible to settle out of court if both parties are realistic.”