Nnamdi Kanu: Supreme Court fixes December 15 for judgement

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A file photo of Nnamdi Kanu (second left) at the court in Abuja. Kola Sulaimon/AFP

The Supreme Court has fixed December 15 to deliver its judgement on the appeal that is seeking to compel the Federal Government to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from detention. A five-member panel led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun fixed the date after counsel for both the Federal Government and the detained IPOB leader adopted their final briefs of argument.

While Kanu Agabi led Kanu’s team of lawyers, Mike Ozehkome, presented his appeal to the apex court panel. Ozehkome prayed the court to not only order the immediate release of his client from detention but to equally award very heavy and punitive costs against the Federal Government. In his submission, however, counsel to the Federal Government, Tijani Gazzali, urged the apex court to uphold the amended brief of argument he filed on May 3, 2023.

He prayed the court to allow FG’s appeal, set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal which ordered Kanu’s release and order the resumption of his trial before the Federal High Court in Abuja on terrorism-related charges. Gazzali further urged the apex court to dismiss Kanu’s cross-appeal. On October 13, 2022, the Court of Appeal Abuja delivered a judgement ordering Kanu’s release from detention.

In a unanimous decision by a three-member panel, the appellate court equally quashed a 15-count terrorism charge that FG entered against the detained IPOB leader before the Federal High Court in Abuja. The court said it was satisfied that FG flagrantly violated all known laws when it forcefully rendered Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial. It held that such arbitrary use of power by the Nigerian government divested the trial court of the jurisdiction to continue with Kanu’s trial.

However, dissatisfied with the judgement, the Federal Government took the matter before the Supreme Court.

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