President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government of Nigeria has argued before Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Monday that if the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu is released, security situation in the country will become worse.
Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, Mike Ozekhome also argued that the release of Nnamdi Kanu as ordered by the Appeal Court in Its judgement on October 13, 2022 will only bring peace and tranquility to the Southeastern states and Nigeria in general.
Federal Government said that, Nnamdi Kanu is a threat to national security and a flight risk with the capacity to flee the country before the determination of the appeal, FG filed before Supreme Court of Justice against the October 13 judgment, of the Appeal Court, freeing Nnamdi Kanu.
FG Lawyer, David Kaswe made the submittions before the Court of Appeal in Abuja, following an application filed by Federal Government for the stay of execution of the court’s October 13 judgment which discharged the terrorism-related charge on which Kanu was being tried.
Details of the court hearing reported below as presented by Nation Newspaper.
Kaswe said: “The application was brought in the interest of justice and to preserve the security in the South East and the country.
“We have demonstrated that the respondent (Kanu) is a flight risk. If the judgement does not stay until our appeal is heard and determined by the Supreme Court, it will be difficult for us to lay our hands on the respondent to bring him back to court to face the charge against him.
“The respondent has shown that he has the capacity to jump bail,” he said.
Kaswe added that should Kanu be released from custody, it could impact negatively on the security situation in the South East.
He said should the judgment be executed now and Kanu released, it would negatively impact national security, particularly as it relates to the South East.
Kaswe prayed the court to grant the sole prayer in the application in the interest of justice and unity of the country.
Responding, Kanu’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) accused the Federal Government of being in contempt of court.
Ozekhome argued that the Federal Government filed its application to overrule the judgement of the court.
He claimed that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) has boasted on many occasions that government would not obey the judgement.
Ozekhome argued that as against the government’s claim, Kanu’s release would bring peace and tranquility to the South East and the country.
He added that the application by the Federal Government was to stay the execution of Kanu’s liberty and urged the court not to indulge the government.
Ozekhome contended that there was no valid appeal by the Federal Government at the Supreme Court, noting that the court cannot stay execution when there is no valid appeal.
He prayed the court to dismiss the application.
Ozekhome earlier told the court that his client was ill and needed to undergo an operation and urged the court to insist that the government complies with its judgment.
At the conclusion of the lawyers’ submissions, Justice Haruna Tsanami, who presided over the three-member panel that heard the application, said the ruling is reserved till a date to be communicated to the parties.