September 25, 2022


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Court again adjourns judgment on Kanu’s appeal

Court again adjourns judgment on Kanu’s appeal

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja today, September 13, reserved judgment on an appeal filed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, to have the charge of terrorism and treason quashed by the federal government held against him.

The IPOB leader, who is currently on trial in the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had, through his lead lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the legal jurisdiction of the charge against him. He specifically asked the appeals court to review the trial court’s April 8 decision which struck out only eight of the 15 charges.

Insisting that the accusation against him by FG ​​had no basis in law, Kanu, in his appeal dated April 29 and marked CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022, asked to be acquitted and acquitted. He also appealed to the ccourt to order his release on bail, pending the decision on his appeal.

Although the appeal was originally set for October 11, however, following a request for a reduction in time filed by the beleaguered IPOB leader, the appeals court presented the case for hearing.

Arguing for the appeal, Chief Ozekhome, SAN, alleged that his client was forcibly abducted from Kenya and illegally returned to the country. He told the court that his client was first arrested on December 23, 2015, then released on bail on April 25, 2017.

“My lords, he was enjoying this bond without breaching its terms. However, he was at his ancestral home when agents of the respondent invaded his home in September 2017. He narrowly escaped alive by sheer Providence and ended up first in Israel and then in London.

When the Appellant traveled from London to Kenya, agents of the Defendants, on June 27, 2021, forcibly abducted him, tortured him and returned him to the country without following any extradition procedures” , Ozekhome said.

He argued that under the doctrine of specialty, as provided for in Section 15 of the Extradition Act, FG should have prosecuted Kanu on the five counts he initially faced before proceeding. escape the country. Ozekhome also argued that Kenya, being the country from which Kanu was arrested and extraordinarily returned to Nigeria, should have allowed his extradition.

“This allegation of his forcible abduction and restitution has never been denied by the defendant. Moreover, Gentlemen, the prosecution appears to confer on the lower court overall jurisdiction over the offenses allegedly committed by the Appellant, without specifying the place or the date on which the said offenses were committed.

It was not necessary for the lower court to uphold the remaining seven counts.

We therefore urge my lords to strike out the remaining counts and consider that the Respondent has established no prima facie case against the Appellant for which he could stand trial,” Ozekhome added.

Meanwhile, FG, through his lawyer, Mr. David Kaswe, urged the court to dismiss the appeal as lacking in merit. Kaswe argued that the head of IPOB was brought back to the country in accordance with legal process. He argued that the charge had been amended seven times because of the Appellant’s conduct.

“Gentlemen, it took four years and enormous resources to have the respondent arrested and brought back to face the charges against him.

The Prosecution remains willing and willing to proceed with the trial of the Appellant. We say the trial court even erred in striking out the eight counts as it did.

It was only after FG produced all his witnesses and produced his evidence that the Appellant could claim that no fumus prima facie had been established.

Finally, we urge this court to dismiss the appeal as lacking in merit,” Kaswe said.

After hearing both parties, the panel said it would communicate a date for the judgment.

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