Sat, 20 Jul 2024


Allow us to try Kanu for treasonable felony - FG begs Supreme Court
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Fri, 6 Oct 2023   ||   Nigeria,

The Federal Government has urged the Supreme Court allow it to prosecute Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra for treason.

Nigeria government made the argument on Thursday as it asked the Supreme Court to void and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal that quashed the criminal charges it filed against the leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB Nnamdi Kanu.

A Federal High Court presided over by Justice Binta Nyako had in an earlier ruling, retained 7 counts out of the original 15 counts filed against Kanu by Federal Government.

The Judge had insisted that Kanu had questions to answer on 7 other counts.

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division had on Oct. 13, 2022, in a judgment in an appeal filed and argued by Kanu’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome SAN dismissed the remaining 7 count criminal charges.

While upholding all arguments and submissions of Ozekhome, the Court of Appeal quashed the entire 15 count criminal charges.

The appellate court agreed with Ozekhome that the Federal Government violated rules of engagement in the ways and manners Kanu was arrested in Kenya and brought to Nigeria.

Specifically, the court of appeal held that the Nigerian government broke international laws and resorted to self-help in its failure to file an extradition charge against the IPOB leader in Kenya instead of resorting to unlawful abduction, and rendition.

The panel of the three Justices of the Court of Appeal, in allowing the appeal argued by Ozekhome SAN had ordered immediate and unconditional release of Kanu from the custody of the Department of the State Service (DSS).

The Court also prohibited the Federal Government from further detaining or prosecuting Kanu on any indictment or charge before any court in Nigeria.

However, the Federal Government took the case to the Supreme Court with a request that the judgment of the Court of Appeal should be quashed while the trial of Kanu on treasonable felony at the Federal High Court should be restored.

While arguing the Federal Government’s case at the Supreme Court on Thursday, Tijani Gazali, SAN pleaded that the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which upheld 7 count charges against Kanu be affirmed so that the IPOB leader can be tried on the charges of treasonable felony.

On Thursday, Kanu Agabi led Kanu’s team of lawyers while Ozehkome also presented his appeal to the apex court panel.

Ozehkome prayed the court to not only order the immediate release of his client from detention but to equally award very heavy and punitive costs against the Federal Government.

Ozekhome maintained that the Federal Government had since June 29, 2021 been detaining Kanu illegally, unlawfully and unconstitutionally.

The Senior lawyer pleaded that the judgment of the Court of Appeal which quashed the entire charges against Kanu and ordered his immediate release be upheld and affirmed.

He maintained that Kanu’s continued detention by the federal government was unlawful in the face of the subsisting Court of Appeal judgment which had ordered that Kanu be immediately released.

Insisting that no government has the power to trample on the fundamental rights of citizens as in the case of Kanu, Ozekhome maintained that his client is being detained in gross violation of both local and international laws.

He therefore urged the Supreme Court to uphold the judgment of the court of appeal and order the immediate release of Kanu.

After hearing the arguments of the lawyers, the Supreme Court panel presided over by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun fixed Dec. 15 to deliver judgment in the appeal.



Back to News