Sunday , June 23 2024

Supreme Court to deliver judgment Friday in Kanu’s trial

The Supreme Court will on Friday render its judgment in the appeals filed by the federal government and detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

A five-member panel of the court, headed by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, had chosen the date on October 5, after lawyer to the fed govt, Tijani Gazali (SAN) and counsel to Kanu, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) made final submissions.

The fed government prays the court to set aside an earlier judgment by the Court of Appeal, which quashed the treasonable felony charge against Kanu and ordered his release on the grounds that he was unlawfully brought back to the country after he jumped bail.

Kanu, on his part, wants the Supreme Court to allow the judgment of the Court of Appeal and uphold his discharge and acquittal.

In his final submission, Gazali urged the apex court “to allow the appeal, set aside the judgment of the court below and affirm the judgment of the trial court (Federal High Court), to the effect that the respondent should stand trial in respect of the charge, which the court below quashed.”

 
Gazali further urged the court to dismiss the cross appeal filed by Kanu.

On his part, Ozekhome urged the court to dismiss the appeal filed by the Fed Govt c”with punitive cost and uphold the cross appeal in order to do substantial justice to this matter.”

He urged the court to allow the cross appeal filed by his client.

Ozekhome told the court that his client has been in custody since June 29, 2021 “even when the lower court had ordered his release.”

He prayed the court “to use this case to demonstrate that no government should trample on the rights of citizens as was done in the case of Ojukwu v. Lagos State.”

The Court of Appeal in Abuja  had in its judgment on October 13, 2022 in faulted the manner the Fed Govt brought Kanu back into the country and proceeded to quash the seven counts left in the treasonable felony charge on which the IPOB leader was being tried before a Federal High Court in Abuja before jumped bail.

The Appeal Court was of the view that the Fed Govt violated rules of engagement in the ways and manners Kanu was arrested in Kenya and brought to Nigeria.

The Court of Appeal added that the Fed Govt breached the international laws and resorted to self-help in its failure to file extradition application Kanu in Kenya instead of resorting to unlawful abduction, rendition.

The appellate court’s three-member panel proceeded to discharge  Kanu and order his release from custody.

Before the judgment could be executed, the Fed Govt applied to the Court of Appeal for a stay of execution pending the determination of its appeal against the judgment, an application the Court of Appeal granted.

Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court had in an earlier ruling, struck out eight counts out of the 15 counts in the original charge filed against Kanu, leaving seven, which the Court of Appeal quashed in its judgment.

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