Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lead counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has said that the Nigerian government “admitted” before the Court of Appeal, Abuja, that it deployed huge resources to capture and transfer the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria.
Recall that the Nigerian government on June 27, 2021, rearrested Kanu in Kenya through collaboration with Interpol on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Since his re-arrest, Kanu has been confined in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja, as he is being tried before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court for treasonable felony charges against him by the government. Easterner reported on Tuesday that the Court of Appeal reversed its judgment on the remaining seven count charge pending against Kanu. Recall that Kanu had approached the appellate court, urging it to dismiss the Nigerian government’s seven counts charge bordering on terrorism and treasonable felony.
But after the Tuesday sitting in which the case was adjourned indefinitely by the Appeal Court, Ejiofor said, “It is interesting to note that the Federal Government admitted before the court, of expending huge resources to criminally abduct and extraordinarily rendition Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria.
“The Federal Government further admitted viva voce, that they have amended the charges seven times, which is a clear indication and admission that they do not have any case whatsoever against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“They are only interested in keeping him in custody indefinitely, but the Court of Appeal is their final bus-stop.”
Easterner had reported that Kanu, who is currently facing trial before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), approached the appellate court to interrogate the legal competence of the charge pending against him.
Justice Binta Nyako of Federal High Court Abuja had struck out eight of the 15 count charge Federal Government filed against the IPOB leader. But Kanu’s lawyers appealed against the ruling of the trial court on April 8 and sought the appellate court to review the ruling and struck out the remaining seven-court pending in the lower court. The lead Counsel of the IPOB leader, had insisted that the charge FG entered against his client had no basis in law, in the appeal dated April 29 and marked CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022, applied to be discharged and acquitted.
Kanu equally urged the appellate court to order his release on bail, pending the determination of his appeal. Though the appeal was initially fixed for October 11, following an application the embattled IPOB leader filed for abridgement of time, the appellate court brought the matter forward for hearing. When the matter was called up on Tuesday, a three-man panel led by Justice Jummai Hanatu, said it had no need to delve into the issue of bail since the substantive appeal was ripe for hearing. Arguing the appeal, Chief Ozekhome, SAN, alleged 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. After it had listened to both sides, the panel said it would communicate a date for the judgment.