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Senate rejects release of Nnamdi Kanu, seeks extradition, prosecution of Ekpa over sit-at-home in Southeast

The Senate Wednesday condemned in totality, the weekly ‘sit at home’ order in the Southeast imposed by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

It consequently urged the federal government to collaborate with the Finish government and extradite a leader of the gang, Simon Ekpa, from Finland for prosecution in Nigeria.

The Red Chamber also resolved to invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs, when appointed, and relevant stakeholders to carry out thorough investigation as well as bringing other sponsors of the act to book, just as it rejected call to prevail on Federal Government to obey courts order on release of Kanu.

The resolutions were sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Osita Izunaso (APC Imo West).

Izunaso in the motion titled: “Condemning the disruptive nature of ‘sit at home’ demonstration in the South East Nigeria”, lamented that “thousands of lives have been lost since this act started, and properties worth over a trillion naira have been destroyed which has resulted in investors leaving the region.”

He added that the ‘sit at home’ civil disobedience in the region has led to the disruption and destruction of economic activities as well as immeasurable losses for businesses, workers and the local economy, noting that “when people are forced to stay at home and businesses remain closed, productivity declines, and income is reduced, thereby affecting livelihoods and economic growth.”

The lawmaker further regretted that the act disrupts the education of students leading to missed classes and delay in academic progress, stressing that “such prolonged disruptions have long-term effects on students’ learning outcomes and educational development.”

“Disruption of essential public services such as healthcare, transportation and waste disposal continues to have severe impact during the ‘sit at home’ protests which adversely affect the well-being and safety of the general population living in the South East.

“The ‘sit at home’ protests continue to lead to acts of violence and clashes with the law enforcement agencies, which have led to uncountable losses of lives of innocent people, security agents and the protesters. As this increases, the potential for criminal elements to take advantage of the situation to engage in looting or other unlawful activities while the people stay at home,” he lamented.

Senator Izunaso, however, warned that “if the activities of Simon Ekpa, who is issuing the illegal ‘sit at home’ orders is not checked, he may succeed in corrupting the minds of Nigerian youths and turning them against the government, which is tantamount to treasonable felony.”

However, the Senate rejected the pleas for political solution to the case of detained IPOB leader, Kanu, currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), especially withdrawal of all cases against him.

Speaking with journalists after plenary, the lawmaker insisted that political approach remains the best way to handle the case, saying that the ‘sit at home’ protests and destruction of lives and properties by enforcers of the orders in the South East would stop with his release.

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