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Jubilation as A’Court discharges, acquits Kanu • Says extradition, detention unlawful

From Magnus Eze, Enugu, Godwin Tsa, Abuja, Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri, Okey Sampson, Umuahia and Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba

Wild jubilation erupted in the camp of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Afaraukwu-Ibeku, Umuahia in Abia State, yesterday, following the judgement of an Abuja division of the Court of Appeal which quashed the seven-count terrorism charge filed against Nnamdi Kanu.

The appellate court held that having been forcefully abducted in Kenya and extraordinarily rendered to Nigeria, his trial on the amended charges filed by the Federal Government tainted and amounted to an abuse of court process. It further held that the unlawful actions of the Federal Government robbed the Federal High Court of its jurisdiction to conduct the trial.

A three-member panel of Justices led by Justice Jummai Hanatu, said it was satisfied that Federal Government flagrantly violated the law when it forcefully rendered Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial. It held that such extraordinary rendition, without adherence to due process of the law was a gross violation of all international conventions, protocols and guidelines that Nigeria is signatory to, as well as a breach of Kanu’s fundamental human rights.

In addition, the court held that the respondent (FG) failed to refute the allegation that the appellant  was in Kenya and that he was abducted and brought back to the country without any extradition proceeding.

It held that FG was “ominously silent on the issue” which it described as very pivotal in determining whether the trial court would still have the jurisdiction to continue with the criminal proceeding before it. The forceful abduction from Kenya  and rendition to Nigeria by the Federal Government is a clear violation of International Convention, Protocols and guidelines. The warrant of arrest issued against Kanu by the Federal High Court can only be executed in any part of Nigeria and not outside the shores of the country.

“The manner in which the appellant was forcefully abducted and rendered into the country shows appalling disregard to international conventions and treaties on the part of the respondent, including its local laws- the Terrorism Prevention Act.

“Section 1 (a) (2) of the Terrorism Prevention Act empowered the Attorney General of the Federation shall be the authority for the effective implementation of the Act to conform with International Standard, treaties and convention.

“The respondent was mandated by law to establish that it abided by the law in the extradition of the appellant, yet, the respondent has no answer, rather it sought refuge to the provisions of the Administrative of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. In law, that is a costly failure and such failure is an admittance by the Respondent.

“Where a party fails to controvert a deposition by an opponent, the issue not contested is deemed conceded”, the court held, adding that the onus was on FG to prove the legality of the Appellant’s arrest and return from Kenya.

The court noted that Nigeria is a signatory to OAU Convention which it ratified on April 28, 2022, as well as the Charter of Human and Peoples Rights, which it said prescribed how a wanted person could be transferred from one country to the other.

It held that any extradition request must be in writing with a statement indicating offences for which a person is wanted.

The court held that FG’s action tainted the entire proceeding it initiated against Kanu and amounted to “an abuse of criminal prosecution in general.”

“The court will never shy away from calling the Executive to order when it tilts towards Executive recklessness”, the Appellate court held, even as it accused FG of engaging in “serious abuse of power.”

Regardless,  on the proscription of IPOB, the court said it would be pre-judicial for it to make an order on it since the issue is still on appeal. It held that the proscription order by the lower court would subsist until it is set-aside. Consequently, the court held that having struck out counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15 charges, the appellant has no case pending against him with respect to the amended charges and is therefore discharge and acquitted.

The IPOB leader had through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, approached the appellate court to query the legal competence of the charge pending against him.

•Jubilation in IPOB camp, Kanu’s village

“Yes, we are happy to hear that our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been acquitted and discharge that is to show that some judges are good and know the law and understand that Nnamdi Kanu did not commit any crime and his extraordinary renditioned was very illegal.

“Biafrans both home and abroad including our friends should rejoice because Almighty Chukwu Okike Abiama has done it again. Biafra realisation is the next target and nothing will stop it IPOB from achieving Biafra freedom,” IPOB spokesman, spokesman, Emma Powerful, said in a statement.

He noted the leadership of the group was ready to forge ahead as a result of his release adding that their next target is Biafra realisation.

On the sit-at-home still been enforced by some hoodlums in South East, he affirmed that Kanu’s release would rest the enforcement by some of the opposing sides, maintaining that the order can only be instituted by the leadership of IPOB itself.

“Any day we want sit-at-home we would announce it, not those who were issuing sit at home, the only legitimate sit-at-home is the one declared by IPOB leadership not those infiltrators and traitors.If you know you are a criminal terrorising our people just run because you are going to meet your Waterloo,” Powerful said.

When Daily Sun visited Afaraukwu, women and youths gathered in their numbers dancing and singing praises to God for the unconditional release of their son by the Appeal Court.

Immediate past President General of Afaraukwu community, Chief Ikechukwu Ndubueze said it was a thing of joy that their illustrious son has been pronounced not guilty by the Appeal Court.

Asked what the community would do if FG refused to obey the court order, Ndubueze said he was optimistic government will obey the court order. He, however, added that where government fails to release the IPOB leader as ordered by the court, the community would take action he refused to make public.

When the reporter visited the Kanu’s home, the gates were locked as neighbours said the relations had traveled to Abuja.

Contacted on phone, spokesman of the family, Prince Emmanuel Kanu said he was in a meeting and promised to call back later, but did not before the filing of this report.

•MASSOB: Freedom’ll open new vista The Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) said the release was a stepping progress towards Biafra actualisation and restoration.

Leader of MASSOB, Uchenna Madu  also described it as a triumph of light over darkness.                                     

“His release has opened a new dimension to Biafra struggle  which must continue to be anchored on non violence, mutual understanding and unity of purpose.

“As Nnamdi Kanu is being discharged from DSS detention, MASSOB will continue with other progressive groups and individuals to press further for the release of other pro Biafra detainees across Nigeria prisons.    

“Though the people of Biafra are celebrating all over the world, our most desired joy is independence of Biafra sovereignty from Nigeria State,” Madu stated      

MASSOB warned the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to quickly obey the order of the appellate court.

•Signals end to sit-at-home –Igbo youths

The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) said it was good news and the right thing to do.

Its President General, Goodluck Ibem said noted that with the development, the indication was that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.

Ibem said: “It confirms that we have Judges who will look at matters based on her merits and not based on sentiments. The Judiciary has shown that there is hope for the common man.

“The release of Nnamdi Kanu will restore peace and security in the South East geopolitical zone. Ndigbo at home and in diaspora are happy with this great news. Justice have been finally given.

“Those criminals who have been committing atrocities will have no other option that to vacate the Igboland immediately. Their illegal business has come to an end.

“All economic activities will commence fully in the region. No more threats and counter threats from various agitation groups. Normalcy will be finally restored.”

•He should be compensated by FG  –SAN

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Chuks Muoma said the case for which he was taken to court had no basis in law because he was only expressing himself in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as Amended.

“It is a political problem that required a political solution. He shouldn’t have been prosecuted because his prosecution was wrong, oppressive, and vindictive.

“His release is worth celebrating. They have come to the realization that he was wrongly being prosecuted,” the elder statesman stated.

Describing Kanu’s incarceration as vindictive because he was Igbo, he declared that the self-determination activist should be fully compensated for wrongful incarceration.

“He should be compensated in billions of Naira for wrongful incarceration. The case had no legal basis. We are however, grateful to God. Glory be to God.”


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Posted by on Oct 14 2022. Filed under Biafra, General Politics, Latest Politics, National Politics, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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