It is no longer news that the Federal Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has ruled for the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to be set free, ruling, the IPOB leader has no case to answer following the seven count Terrorism charges leveled against him by the Federal Government.
The Appeal Court passed judgement on the matter brought before it on Thursday.
Exactly a month to the day of Judgement, the Appeal Court has assured parties in the case involving Nnamdi Kanu that a day of judgement will be fixed and communicated to them.
The appellate court had brought the matter forward for hearing on September 13, 2022 as against the initial October 11, 2022 fixed for the hearing.
The three-man panel led by Justice Jummai Hanatu, had said it had no need to delve into the issue of bail since the substantive appeal was ripe for hearing.
The Appeal Court reserved judgement after lawyers representing Nnamdi Kanu and Federal Government argued extensively on whether the detained Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB leader has case to answer or not.
Nnamdi Kanu, in his appeal dated April 29 and marked CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022, applied to be discharged and acquitted.
Mike Ozekhome, a human rights lawyer who led the delegation of legal practitioners representing the IPOB leader, urged the Appeal court to strike out the remaining seven count charges, citing lack of credibility.
Ozekhome asked the appellate court to review the April 8 ruling of the trial court which struck out only eight out of the 15 charges.
Ozekhome emphasized that the charge, Federal Government entered against Nnamdi Kanu have no basis in law.
Ozekhome said that his client was forcefully abducted from Kenya and illegally renditioned back to the country.
He told the court that his client was first arraigned on December 23, 2015 and was later granted bail on April 25, 2017.
“My lords, he was enjoying this bail without breaching the terms. However, he was in his ancestral home when agents of the respondent invaded his home in September 2017.
“When the Appellant travelled from London to Kenya, agents of the respondents, on June 27, 2021, forcefully abducted the appellant, tortured and renditioned him back to the country without following any extradition process,” Ozekhome added.
He further argued that Kenya, being the country from where Kanu was arrested and extraordinarily renditioned back to Nigeria, ought to have authorised his extradition.
Federal Government, through its lawyer, David Kaswe, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for want of merit.
David Kaswe said that the IPOB leader was brought back to the country by due process of the law.
However, the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday ruled that the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu has no case to answer and hence he should be allowed to go home.
The three-man panel of the Court of Appeal said the Federal High Court lacks the jurisdiction to try him in view of his abduction and extraordinary rendition to Nigeria in flagrant violation of the OAU convention and protocol on extradition.
The court held that the 15-count charge preferred against Kanu did not disclose the place, date, time and nature of the alleged offences before being unlawfully extradited to Nigeria in clear violation of international treaties.
The court also held that the Federal Government failed to disclose where Nnamdi Kanu was arrested despite the grave allegations of terrorism against him, according to the summary details of the judgement made known by the Biafra leader’s lead lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.
Nnamdi Kanu has repeatedly called for the breakaway of major Igbo speaking communities in Nigeria to form the Republic of Biafra.
On October 2015, he was arrested by Nigerian authorities on an 11-count charge bordering on “terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.”
He was granted bail on April 2017 for medical reasons.
Nnamdi Kanu fled the country in September 2017 after an invasion of his home by the military in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State.
He was then sighted in Israel before relocating to London, UK. He has been under DSS detention since June 2021 when he was captured in Kenya and brought to Nigeria.