Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will remain in DSS custody pending the determination of the Appeal filed before the Supreme Court.
The continued detention of Kanu is a consequence of the ruling by the Court of Appeal on an application for the stay of execution of the judgement of the same Court of Appeals on 13th October discharging the IPOB leader filed by the Federal Government.
In its ruling on Friday, 28th October, the Court of Appeal granted the FG’s application to stay the execution of its (Court of Appeal) own judgement.
The three Judges that delivered the judgement on stay of execution were different from those that delivered the 13th October judgement, as all three Judges that sat on 13th October had been transferred to new judicial divisions. All three’s posting was with immediate effect and they were expected to have reported to their new stations by October 21.
In granting the application, the presiding Justice Haruna Tsanammi directed both prosecuting and defense councils to settle records and transmit same to the Supreme Court within seven days, so as to ensure accelerated hearing of the Appeal.
Commenting on the ruling via his Twitter handle, one of the lawyers of Nnamdi Kanu, Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor urged his (Kanu’s) supporters to remain calm, while assuring them that the Ruing of the Court of Appeal today, did not interfere in any way with the status of its judgement discharging Kanu.
He went further to state that the Judgement of the Court of Appeal discharging Nnamdi Kanu and striking out the seven count charges still subsists, and has not been set aside.
What the Court of Appeal ruled on 13th October
Delivering judgment in the appeal by Kanu through his team of lawyers marked CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022, a three-member panel of the appellate court led by Hanatu Sankey, held that the federal government flouted the Terrorism Act and was also in violation of all known international conventions and treaties to which it is a signatory to guiding extradition process, thus, breaching the rights of the respondent.
The court further held that having illegally and forcefully renditioned the appellant, the trial court is stripped of jurisdiction to continue to try Kanu.
According to the appellate court, the federal government’s action “tainted the entire proceedings” it initiated against Kanu and amounted to “an abuse of criminal prosecution in general”.
The court upheld the appeal and dismissed the remaining seven-count charge against the IPOB leader.
How the Federal Government responded to the ruling
In a Statement signed and released on Thursday night by Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, the FG said that the court’s decision was on single issue that bordered in rendition.
The statement went on to say that the Federal Government would continue to pursue determination of pre-rendition issues while considering all available options on the judgement on rendition.
For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted, the statement went on to say.
The Government subsequently appealed the judgement of the Court of Appeal which freed the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur