The Nigerian senate has rejected a motion by south-east region senators for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob).
Imo West Senator Osita Izunaso, who moved the motion, said setting Mr Kanu free would end the sit-at-home orders enforced in the region by gunmen.
“When people are forced to stay at home and businesses remain closed, productivity declines and income is reduced, affecting livelihoods and economic growth,” he said.
However, the senate rejected the pleas from the south-east lawmaker, and instead asked the federal government to ensure those who enforce the orders are arrested.
Unknown gunmen have been enforcing sit-at-home directives every Monday since August 2021 – despite Ipob distancing itself from them.
Mr Kanu has been in detention since June 2021 even after a court dropped all the terror charges against him in October 2022.