The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, today upheld the appeal of the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.The court also discharged and acquitted the embattled leader of the proscribed group.
Kanu’s lawyer and human rights activist, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, noted “Appeal allowed, Oyendu Mazi Nnamdi KANU, discharged and acquitted. We have won!,”.
It would be recalled that Kanu had in his appeal dated April 29 and marked CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022, applied to be discharged and acquitted.Kanu was first arraigned on December 23, 2015, and was later granted bail on April 25, 2017.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, had on Tuesday, September 13, reserved its judgement on an appeal Nnamdi Kanu filed to quash the terrorism and treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him. The IPOB leader, who was facing trial before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, approached the appellate court to query the legal competence of the charge pending against him. He specifically prayed the appellate court to review the April 8 ruling of the trial court which struck out only eight out of the 15-count charge. Insisting that the charge FG entered against him had no basis in law, Nnamdi Kanu, in his 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, however, 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, September 13, 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, said that his client was forcefully abducted from Kenya and illegally brought 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.He argued that under the Doctrine of Speciality as provided for in section 15 of the Extradition Act, FG, ought to have proceeded to try Nnamdi Kanu on the five-count charge he was initially facing before he escaped from the country.He argued that Kenya, being the country from where Nnamdi Kanu was arrested and extraordinarily renditioned back to Nigeria, ought to have authorised his extradition.But the FG, through its lawyer, Mr. David Kaswe, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for want of merit. He maintained that the IPOB leader was brought back to the country by due process of the law.He argued that the charge has been amended seven times owing to the conduct of the Appellant.