The Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, has fixed October 27 for judgement in the suit filed by the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu against the Federal Government.
Kanu in the suit filed on his behalf by his Special Counsel, Mr Aloy Ejimakor, is challenging his extraordinary rendition from Kenya by the agents of the Federal Government.
When the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday before the Court, counsels to all the parties adopted their written applications and processes.
However, counsel to the Federal Government, Simon Enoch of the Federal Ministry of Justice, in adopting his written addresses, prayed the court to dismiss the suit claiming that it is an abuse of court processes.
He argued that the matter had already been decided by the Abia State High Court, and further claimed that Kanu had earlier jumped bail before his re-arrest in Kenya.
But in a swift objection, Kanu’s lawyer reminded the court that the case decided by the Abia High Court was different from the current suit as the former only dwelt on the military invasion of Kanu’s house in 2017 which was decided in his favour.
Kanu’s lawyer argued that the subsisting suit was on the unlawful rendition of Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria by the agents of the Federal Government without any warrant.
He insisted that the Federal Government should be made to produce the legal instrument or authority upon which the “abduction or extraordinary rendition of Kanu was based”.
“My client remains an unlawfully expelled individual, and cannot be subjected to any trial because he was unlawfully renditioned”, Kanu’s lawyer argued.
He further reminded the court that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights had already directed the Nigerian authorities to unconditionally release Kanu, and compensate him for the violation of fundamental human rights.
Ejimakor also informed the Court that Kanu’s health condition was deteriorating and he urgently needed the attention of his personal physician.
According to him, Kanu has to be alive first to take his trial.
After listening to the arguments and submissions of both counsels, the presiding Judge, Justice Evelyn Anyadike, fixed October 27 to deliver judgment on the matter.
Later in an interview with newsmen, Kanu’s lawyer said that the IPOB Leader would first be released from detention and be returned to Kenya or Britain where he was residing before the Federal Government would apply for his extradition.
He argued that in law, “you cannot detain somebody you don’t have the authority to arrest”.
Kanu’s lawyer likened the rendition of his client to the attempted kidnap of former Minister for Agriculture, Alhaji Umaru Dikko by the Federal Government from Britain in 1984, in which those involved in the act were arrested and prosecuted, and Nigeria punished by the United Kingdom.
He further said that Kanu’s quest for a referendum on Biafra was not a crime as part of Eastern Nigeria was lost to Cameroon, and part of Southern Cameroon became Nigeria respectively via plebiscite.
Ejimakor, however, expressed hope that his client would get justice in court, saying that his case is very clear.
Some of Kanu’s legal team members at the court hearing were Patrick Agazie; Ifeyinwa Nworgu, Tochukwu Arugbuonye, Franklin Amandi, Ohaeto Uwazie, and Mandela Umegborogu.
Kanu’s younger brother, other family members, Jewish Rabbis and numerous supporters were also sighted at the court.
Below are some of the reliefs being sought by Kanu:
“1, A DECLARATION that the arrest of the Applicant in Kenya by the Respondents’ agents without due process of law is arbitrary, and the Respondents’ enforced disappearance of the Applicant for eight (8) days and their refusal to produce the Applicant before a Kenyan Court for the purpose of Applicant’s extradition is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right against arbitrary arrest, to his personal liberty and to fair hearing as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter.
“2, A DECLARATION that the detention of the Applicant in a non-official secret facility in Kenya and the torture of the Applicant in Kenya by the Respondents’ agents is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right against unlawful detention, torture and to fair hearing, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter).
“3, A DECLARATION that, pursuant to Article 12(4) of the Charter, the expulsion (or extraordinary rendition) of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria by the Respondents without a decision taken in accordance with the law of Kenya is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right to fair hearing and not to be expelled from a State Party to the Charter except by virtue of a decision taken in accordance with the law, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter.
“4, A DECLARATION that any criminal prosecution of the Applicant the purpose of which the Respondents unlawfully expelled the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right to fair hearing, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter.
“5, AN ORDER OF INJUNCTION restraining and prohibiting the Respondents from taking any further step in any criminal prosecution of the Applicant enabled by the said unlawful expulsion of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria.
“6, AN ORDER mandating and compelling the the Respondents to forthwith restitute or otherwise restore the Applicant to his liberty, same being his state of being as of 19th June, 2021; and to thereupon repatriate the Applicant to his country of lawful domicile (to wit: the United Kingdom) to await the outcome of any formal request the Respondents may file before the competent authorities in Britain for the lawful extradition of the Applicant to Nigeria.
“7, AN ORDER mandating and compelling the Respondents to issue an official Letter of Apology to the Applicant for the infringement of his fundamental rights; and publication of said Letter of Apology in three (3) national dailies.
“8, AN ORDER mandating and compelling the Respondents to pay the sum of N25,000,000,000.00 (Twenty-Five Billion Naira) to the Applicant, being monetary damages claimed by the Applicant against the Respondents jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property and other damages suffered by the Applicant as a result of the infringements of Applicant’s fundamental rights by the Respondents.”