Latest Biafra News on Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB today, Monday 21st November 2022, can be accessed below.
Below are the latest Biafra news today, IPOB & Nnamdi Kanu news today…
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Saturday, said the legal team of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu is prepared to answer the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami in any law court.
IPOB was reacting to the Federal High Court in Abuja’s ruling that adjourned Kanu’s trial indefinitely.
Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the trial indefinitely, pending the resolution of the Federal Government’s appeal against the October 13 judgment of the Court of Appeal that discharged Kanu of the terrorism charges.
The IPOB lawyer on Wednesday said Nnamdi Kanu is gravely ill with three life-threatening conditions, namely a serious heart condition, hypertension, and low potassium levels.
The special counsel to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, Aloy Ejimakor, on Wednesday, wrote to Ambassador Samuela Isopi, Head of the European Union, EU, Delegation to Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, asking him to prevail on the federal government to release his principal from the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS.
Ejimakor also asked Isopi to prevail on the Buhari administration to accord Kanu his human right to seek independent medical care for his ailments.
Ejimakor stated that despite the ruling of a court freeing Nnamdi Kanu, the federal government has continued to detain the pro-Biafra activist in solitary confinement while his trial lingers in delays, adjournments, continuances and appeals that have become the norm from when he was first arrested and incarcerated in 2015.
The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, on Monday, refused to appear before a Federal High Court in Abuja. This online news understands that Kanu’s action was in protest against the Federal Government’s refusal to obey a Court of Appeal judgment that ordered his release from detention.
The Federal High Court Abuja has adjourned indefinitely the trial of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu in the terrorism charges brought against him by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has amended the seven-count terrorism charges against Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
This online news understands that FG filed the amended seven-count terrorism charge against Kanu.
The amended charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, which was entered before the Federal High Court in Abuja, contained all allegations against Kanu that were earlier sustained by the court.
In a broadcast, the Federal Government said Kanu had issued a deadly threat that anyone who flouted IPOB’s sit-at-home order in the South-East should write his or her will.
The Government claimed that in 2018, Kanu severally made broadcasts that incited his members to kill security operatives and families.
It noted that the offence was punishable under Section 1 (2) (h) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.
The lead counsel of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, Mike Ozekhome, has warned against the continued detention of the Biafra agitator.
Ozekhome said Nigeria would disintegrate if Kanu is not released from custody soon despite courts.
He issued the warning during a meeting with Igbo leaders in Atlanta, the United States of America, US.
Ozekhome assured that releasing Kanu would not escalate insecurity in the southeast.
According to Ozekhome: “We are at the Supreme Court, and it will right the wrong because nobody will intimidate the Supreme court. They will have to do something so that Nigeria will not disintegrate.
“I have told the court that releasing Kanu will not break the South East or bring unrest in the zone. Rather, that is what will calm South East.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has released the full timetable for its 2023 presidential campaign for its candidate, Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.
The timetable which was released on Wednesday shows that the ruling party will kick off its campaign with a rally in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on November 15, 2022.
The grand finale has been fixed for Lagos State on February 13, 2023.
Apart from rallies in the states of the federation, the released APC calendar also shows a schedule for various zonal rallies, town hall meetings, international engagements and break time.
However, one major observation from the released calendar is the rally fixed for Monday 30th January 2023 in Anambra State.
The Anambra rally caught the attention of political observers due to the date as it coincides with the usual sit-at-home declared in the southeast region by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB)
See APC’s full campaign calendar for the 2023 presidential election.
Recall that Mondays have been taken over by the sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in 2021 in solidarity with its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who has been detained by the Department of State Services since June 2021.
The sit-at-home order seems to have come to stay as the people of the region have continued to observe it, especially as in many cases, some people were attacked, brutalised, or even killed and their properties destroyed by enforcers of the order.
With the development, many business premises and even some government offices do not open on Mondays as business owners and some government workers have seen the day as a permanently established holiday, despite its adverse effect on businesses and the economy of the region.
Knocks and controversies have thrilled FG’s continuous detention of Nnamdi Kanu ahead of the 2023 general elections.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been slammed over the issues surrounding the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his continued detention by the Federal Government.
Despite the ruling by the Court of Appeal for the IPOB leader to be released, the Buhari administration stood its ground. It later approached the same court and got a stay of execution.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja had held that the Federal Government breached all local and international laws in the forceful rendition of Kanu to Nigeria, thereby making the terrorism charges against him incompetent and unlawful.
But the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami had vowed that Kanu would not be released despite the court ruling, insisting that the Federal Government would pursue other charges against Kanu.
This is despite the likes of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, elder statesmen such as former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, the late Mbazuruike Amaechi, Chief Edwin Clark among other prominent groups and individuals calling for adherence to the court ruling.
Peter Obi revealed his line of action for the IPOB and other agitators when emerges as president in the 2023 elections.
The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has disclosed his plans for the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and other agitators when he emerges the president in the 2023 general elections.
Obi said he would dialogue with the members of the IPOB, and other agitators.
The presidential candidate vowed to govern by consensus and listen to all for smooth administration of the country.
Responding to questions on insecurity in the country at Daily Trust HQ, Peter Obi stated that dialoguing with agitators will restore peace in the country.
While answering questions after his visit to Media Trust, Obi said, “I have said it times without number, Nigeria does not have more agitation than Brazil, if you want I will show you countries that have had agitations in the past, whether it is Brazil, Mexico, whether it is this.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has granted the request by the Federal Government for a stay of execution of its October 13 judgment freeing the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and quashing the terrorism charge filed against him.
A three-member panel panel of the court, in a ruling on Friday, upheld the Federal Government’s application and ordered that the execution of the judgment be put on hold pending the determination of the appeal filed against the judgment by the government.
Justice Haruna Tsanami, who read the lead ruling, ordered the FG to expedite action on the appeal it filed by ensuring prompt transmission of regards among others.
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said given reasons the Federal Government is not inclined to free the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, to Kenya and pay him N500 million as compensation following court ruling.
Malami said that the rendition of Nnamdi Kanu could not be used as the only basis to free the IPoB leader of other offenses allegedly committed by him against the Federal Government of Nigeria, Vanguard reports.
The Justice minister explained that the government was holding on to Kanu on account of four major issues, which were preceded by the rendition matter for which the court cleared him.
Malami said, “To release or not to release Nnamdi Kanu is a function of law and the rule of law for that matter. In arriving at a decision on whether to release or not release, is one; you look at the rule of law, two; you look at the public and the national interest, three; you look at the security situation, four; you look at international diplomacy.
“Let me talk first of the rule of law. This is someone that has been granted bail on account of charges that have been preferred against him at the court. Someone jumping bail to the international community, a case of a fugitive is established against the background of jumping the bail.
“Two, arising from the national security, this is someone that is charged with treason, incitement and destruction of civil authority, murder and assassination of others on account of his incitement, that boil down to issues of national security and criminality.
“Three on account of international diplomacy, this is someone that has against his person, used the international community or a foreign country to launch an attack against a nation, against his nation for that matter.
“So all these naturally come into play to determine what to do. So if you have through judicial processes establish multiple cases of treason, homicide, bail-jumping among others; the fact that you have indeed succeeded in one case as against multiple others that are pending goes to establish the fact that that case cannot be the only basis and criteria for determining whether you are entitled to be released or not.
President Buhari led Federal Government has lost its bid to transfer the suit of the extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, from Umuahia to Abuja.
The Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, insisted that it has the jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit.
This was disclosed by Kanu’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, in a tweet stressing that the matter was still ongoing.
He wrote: “Breaking: Federal High Court, Umuahia denies the Federal Government’s application to transfer the ‘extraordinary rendition’ suit to Abuja, and rules that Umuahia has the jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit”. Reading of the rest of the judgment continues.”
The Special Counsel was challenging Kanu’s abduction and extraordinary rendition from Kenya.
He is, among other things, praying the court to order his return to Kenya, where he was abducted or UK, his country of abode.
The Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has filed a suit of N100 billion against the Federal government for continuous illegal detention after court had released discharged and acquitted him of any crime.
The lead counsel of the IPOB leader Ifeanyi Ejiofor who filed the case on behalf of Nnamdi Kanu accused the Federal government of unlawfully detaining a freed citizen thereby denying him his fundamental human rights as enshrined by the constitution of Nigerian and upheld the Federal High Court and Appeal Court.
In a statement conveying the charge against the Federal government, Kanu through his counsel wrote, “following the continued grandstanding of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to implement/carryout the Orders/Judgment of the Court of Appeal, delivered on the 13th day of October 2022, which in effect, discharged Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of the frivolous charge brought against him and consequently, prohibits the FGN from further detaining him, and/or subjecting him to further trial or prosecution by any court in Nigeria.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has now commenced a Fundamental Right Action before the Federal High Court Abuja to demand for his immediate release from the unlawful facility of the Department of State Services (DSS), and payment of the sum of NGN100 Billion (One Hundred Billion Naira) as reparation for the gross violation of his Rights to Liberty, Freedom of Movement and Dignity of Human Person.”
Ejiofor added, “It will be recalled that following the judgment of the Court of Appeal, delivered on the 13th day of October 2022, which in effect struck out the retained seven-count charge hitherto pending against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, there is no existing Order of a Court of Law, which presently sanction or legitimize the continued detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as all Courts of first instance in Nigeria has effectively, from this 13th day of October 2022, divested of all jurisdictional powers to either issue Orders in respect thereto or even undertake any further criminal trial/prosecution against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“In the Originating Court Process, duly initiated on behalf of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by our erudite Lead Counsel – Chief Dr. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on the 21st day of October 2022, in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1945/2022 : BETWEEN MAZI NNAMDI KANU VS FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA & ORS, supported by six (6) paragraph affidavit, deposed to by Chimuanya Emenari Esq, a legal practitioner in the law firm of I. C. Ejiofor & Co., clearly verifying the facts of these gross violation of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s constitutionally guaranteed Rights.
The statement added further that “following his continued detention in a solitary confinement in the custody of the DSS in flagrant disobedience of Court Orders, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is substantially seeking for the following Reliefs, anchored on the forgoing grounds, which the Reliefs are predicated upon to wit:
1. A declaration that the continued detention of the Applicant by the Respondents, from the 13th day of October 2022 till date, is illegal, unlawful, oppressive, unconscionable, and unconstitutional as it violates the Applicant’s Fundamental Rights to Dignity of Human Persons, Personal Liberty and Right to Freedom of Movement as guaranteed by Sections 34, 35, 36, 39, and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) 2011.
2. An order of this honourable court directing the Respondents to unconditionally release the Applicant from their custody forthwith.
3. An order of injuction restraining the Respondents, their agents, privies, assigns or howsoever called, from further interfering with the Applicant’s rights, and/or dealing with the Applicant in a manner inimical to his Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) 2011.
4. Compensatory and exemplary damages of N100,000,000,000.00 (One Hundred Billion Naira Only), against the Respondents for the gross violation of the Applicant’s fundamental rights to dignity of human person, personal liberty, and freedom of movement.
5. An order of this honourable court directing the Respondents to tender unreserved public apology to the Applicant in two National Dailies, and any other forms of reparation that the Honourable Court may deem fit to grant.
6. And for such further order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.
grounds upon which the reliefs are sought: By virtue of Section 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) 2011, and Order 1 Rule 2(1) of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, any person who alleges that any of the Provisions of Chapter 4 of the Constitution to which he is entitled to, has been, is being or likely to be contravened in any State in relation to him may apply to the High Court in the State for redress.”
Ejiofor argued further that the “applicant is entitled to his Fundamental Rights to Dignity of Human Person, Personal Liberty and Freedom of Movement guaranteed by Sections 34, 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) 2011.”
He said, “the continued and unlawful detention of the Applicant, whose health is daily deteriorating, from the 13th day of October 2022, till date, violates the Applicant’s Fundamental Rights to Personal Liberty, Dignity of Human Person, and Freedom of Movement, and consequently, illegal and unconstitutional.
The Court of Appeal held that the Applicant is prohibited from being detained, tried, or otherwise dealt with in Nigeria, for/or in respect of any offence allegedly committed by him before his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria, thus, the continued detention by the Respondents, is arbitrary and unlawful.
“The Respondents have no authority or justification whatsoever, to detain the Applicant in complete defiance and disregard to the positive Order of the Court of Appeal, discharging the Applicant and barring the Respondents from detaining and/or prosecuting him.
“The Respondents cannot exercise their power outside the provision of the law and judicial pronouncements, and thus, they are bound to comply with the Order of the Court of Appeal, which discharged the Applicant.
Ejiofor added further that “the Applicant is constitutionally entitled under Section 35 subsection (6) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) 2011 to the payment of compensation and public apology from the Respondents for the gross violation of his Rights to Dignity of Human Person, Personal Liberty, and Freedom.”
The Court of Appeal has refuted media reports that it transferred the three justices that discharged and quashed the terrorism charges against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu on October 13, 2022.
The appellate court said that only one out of the alleged 3 judges that handled Kanu’s case was affected by the new postings.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Chief Registrar of the court, Malam Umar Mohammed Bangari, who said that the transfer of 21 out of the 81 justices of the court of appeal was a routine exercise aimed at reinvigorating the justice delivery of the Court.
The statement appealed to the media to exercise restraint and circumspection in reporting matters pertaining to the Court and its operations, adding that the court has an open-door policy of providing easy access to the media to make inquiries and seek clarification on any matters of interest to the media for the benefit of the general public.
What the Appeal Court Chief Registrar is saying
The statement from Bangari partly reads, “The attention of the Court of Appeal has been drawn to a publication in the media on Monday, October 24, 2022, with the caption ‘Nnamdi Kanu: 3 Justices on Appeal Court Panel Transferred’.
“The publication in question conveyed the innuendo to the effect that the recent postings of Justices of the Court of Appeal were in connection with or in response to the judgment of the Court of 13th October 2022 in Nnamdi Kanu Versus the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We wish to state categorically that the general postings of the Justices of the Court of Appeal under reference were routine and aimed at reinvigorating the justice delivery system of the Court. In fact, 21 out of 81 Justices including 6 Presiding Justices of the Court were affected by the general postings.
“It is therefore incorrect to insinuate that the Honourable Justices who delivered the judgment in the Nnamdi Kanu appeal were the targets of the routine posting exercise. A few minutes of inquiry by the media could have clarified the fact.
“We appeal to the media to exercise restraint and circumspection in reporting matters pertaining to the Court and its operations. The Court of Appeal has an open door policy of providing easy access to the media to make inquiries and seek clarification on any matters of interest to the media for the benefit of the general public.”
Recall that a few days ago, there were reports that the 3 Justices that sat on the Court of Appeal panel that quashed the 15-count terrorism charge the Federal Government preferred against Nnamdi Kanu, have been transferred from their various divisions.
According to the reports, the 3 appellate court justices were transferred 4 days after they delivered the judgment that discharged the embattled IPOB leader.
Supreme Court will today hear the appeal filed by the Federal Government to set aside the Appeal Court judgment on the treasonable felony trial that freed Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Federal Government, in the notice of appeal it hinged on seven grounds, wants the apex court to stay the execution of the judgment the appellate court delivered on October 13.
It is, among other things, arguing that the Appeal Court panel of three justices erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it relied on the manner Kanu was renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria to quash the entire charges against him after he jumped bail a trial court granted to him in 2017.
The federal government also maintained that the appellate court acted in error by striking out the charge against the IPOB leader on the premise that the trial judge no longer had the jurisdiction to handle the matter
The Federal Government is, therefore, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, praying to the apex court to in the interim, suspend the execution of the Court of Appeal verdict, pending the hearing and determination of its appeal.
Recall that the appellate court had in a unanimous judgment accused FG of flagrantly violating all known laws in the way it forcefully rendered Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial.
It held that such extraordinary rendition, without adherence to due process of the law, was a gross violation of all international conventions, treaties, protocols and guidelines that Nigeria is signatory to, as well as a breach of the appellant’s fundamental human rights.
The appellate court held that FG’s action tainted the entire proceeding it initiated against Kanu and amounted to an abuse of criminal prosecution.
“The court will never shy away from calling the Executive to order when it tilts towards Executive recklessness,” the appellate court held, even as it accused FG of engaging in “serious abuse of power.”
The outcome of the apex court’s hearing on the matter will determine what direction the protracted trial of the IPOB leader is going since he was apprehended in October 2015 in a Lagos hotel after he flew into the country from his base in the United Kingdom, where he is a Director of Radio Biafra.
Meanwhile, the three justices that sat on the Court of Appeal panel that quashed the 15-count terrorism charge preferred against Kanu have been transferred from their various divisions.
It was gathered that the three appellate court justices were transferred four days after they delivered the judgment that discharged the embattled IPOB leader. While the presiding Justice, Jummai Hanatu Sankey, who was in the Gombe Division of the court, has been moved to Awka Division; Justice Oludotun Adetope-Okojie, who delivered the lead judgment, was transferred to Owerri, and the third member of the panel, Justice Ebiowei Tobi, was moved to Gombe.
DESPITE representations and pleas by rights groups and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to the government to exploit the appellate court ruling as a window for a political solution to the IPOB secessionist agitations, FG last week filed its appeal at the apex court.
Reacting to the development, the Director of Abuja School of Social and Political Thought (ASSPT), Prof. Sam Amadi, said the government should always carry out due diligence before rushing to court.
Amadi, who is also a lawyer, said: “The acts of the Federal Government in illegally bringing Kanu back to face trial shows a lack of due diligence and poor legal policy analysis.
“The fact that the Court of Appeal has to make this declaration is evidence that the quality of legal advice available to the government is pathetically poor. It casts doubt on the competence of State House lawyers and officials in the Ministry of Justice.
“We know that even in developed democracies, the profile of the Attorney General determines the quality of administration of justice in those countries.
“I think that in 2023, the new President should appoint someone who has good understanding of law and policy and not necessarily someone who is successful in law practice, because there are many factors besides intelligence that determine success in legal practice.”
IPOB has asked FG to obey verdict of the Court of Appeal of October 13. The group, however, said it was ready to meet with government at the Supreme Court today.
In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB reiterated that no amount of threat or intimidation would make it retreat from the Biafra Restoration project.
The separatist group also accused security agencies of being responsible for truck drivers’ road blockade protest for the release of its leader, Kanu. It warned security agencies to discontinue with its agenda of road and food blockade, sabotage or face confrontation.
Ebonyi State Police Command, at the weekend, said it has arrested Commanders of IPOB/Eastern Security Network (ESN), in a thick forest, close to Opeke River, in Omege Village of Agba community, Ishielu Council.
During their arrest, the combined team of police, military and DSS also recovered assorted arms, ammunition, military uniforms and other incriminating exhibits from the criminals.
In a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chris Anyanwu, he said: “The team after dislodging the criminal elements and taking over the ground, the camp, which they christened ‘Igbo Bu Igbo Training School Camp’, was ransacked and destroyed. Equally, a wooden bridge under construction intended to aid the miscreants in their coming in and going out was dismantled.
“The operation spearheaded by the Command’s tactical teams and assisted by the military and DSS in the state was prompted by quantum pieces of reliable evidence, elicited from the interrogation of Nnamdi Ngwuta Obaji, aka State Commander No. 3, and another operative of the outlawed group, Felix Ogudu, who were earlier arrested.”
The Federal Government through the Appeal Court leadership has transferred three justices that sat on the panel that dismissed the 15-count terrorism charge the Federal Government instituted against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Recall that Justices Jummai Hanatu Sankey, Oludotun Adetope-Okojie and Ebiowei Tobi had faulted the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for ‘abducting’ the IPOB Leader from Kenya.
Delivering the lead judgement on October 13th, Justice Oludotun Adebola ruled that the Federal Government breached all local and international laws in the forceful rendition of Kanu to Nigeria thereby making the terrorism charges against him incompetent and unlawful.
The justices voided and set aside the charges by the Federal Government against Kanu.
The Appellate Court proceeded to discharge Kanu from the alleged offences.
Justice Adebola held that the failure of Nigeria to follow due process by way of Extradition was fatal to the charges against Kanu.
They further held that the failure of the Federal Government to disclose where and when the alleged offences were committed was also fatal to the terrorism charges and made them liable to dismissal.
But in a memo dated October 17th, which was signed by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the three justices were moved from their various divisions.
The memo emphasized that the new posting for the justices was with immediate effect and that they were expected to report to their new stations by October 21.
According to the memo, the presiding justice, Jummai Hanatu Sankey, who previously was in the Gombe Division of the court, has been transferred to Awka Division, whereas Justice Oludotun Adetope-Okojie who delivered the lead judgement, was moved to Owerri, while Justice Ebiowei Tobi, the third member of the court panel was transferred to Gombe
United States-based Special Counsel to the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Bruce Fein, has petitioned the US Senate and House of Representatives Committee Chairmen, seeking sanctions against President Muhammadu Buhari; and the Attorney General of Nigeria, Abubakar Malami.
This online news understands that Nnamdi Kanu’s Lawyer is seeking sanction for the duo for the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu despite an Appeal Court judgement ordering the release of the IPOB leader.
The letter was captioned: “RE: Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act: Recommending President Joe Biden to impose sanctions against Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerian Attorney General Abubakar Malami for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights against Biafran leader Nnamdi Kanu, including kidnapping, torture, and prolonged arbitrary detention to retaliate for exercising internationally recognized rights to freedom of expression and association.”
The IPOB leader’s lawyer asked the legislature to prevail on US President Joe Biden to impose severe sanctions on Buhari and Malami for flouting both the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Opinion and the Nigerian appeal court judgement ordering the immediate release of Kanu.
While likening Buhari and Malami to Russian President Vladimir Putin; Chinese President Xi Jinping; and Saudi Arabian Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman, the lawyer urged Congress not to allow them to get away with their rascality and lawlessness.
He addressed the letter to Robert Menendez, Chairman of, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; Jim Risch, Ranking Member of, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; and Richard Durbin, Senate Committee Chairman on the Judiciary.
Others are Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; Pat Leahy, Senate Committee Chairman on Appropriations, Richard Shelby Ranking Member, the Senate Committee on Appropriations; and Honourable Sherrod Brown, House Committee Chairman on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
The letter was also addressed to Pat Toomey Ranking Member, Senate Committee Chairman on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Gregory Meeks, House Committee Chairman on Foreign Relations, among others.
Below is the full text of the letter:
“I represent Biafran leader Nnamdi Kanu.
“Mr. Kanu has been illegally detained in solitary confinement in cramped quarters for sixteen (16) months without adequate access to needed medical care or to counsel by Nigeria’s State Security Services controlled by President Muhammadu Buhari and Attorney General Abubakar Malami.
“Mr. Kanu’s detention followed his kidnapping, torture, and extraordinary rendition from Kenya in June 2021 to retaliate for advocating a Biafran independence referendum modeled on the United States-brokered 2011 referendum for South Sudan. Mr. Kanu opposes the use of force with the sole exception of self-defense.
“On July 20, 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an Opinion finding Nnamdi Kanu’s detention in violation of sixteen (16) international human rights guarantees. The Opinion ordered his “immediate and unconditional release,” Opinion, paragraph 107. (See Attachment A). President Buhari and Attorney General Malami have ignored the directive for nearly three (3) months with no indication that compliance will ever be forthcoming.
“In January 2022, following the extraordinary rendition of Mr. Kanu, a Nigerian High Court judgment impliedly exonerated him from the Nigerian government’s Orwellian claim that he had jumped bail in evading its notorious attempted assassination.
“On October 13, 2022, the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Abuja Judicial Division, Holden at Abuja, decreed that Nigeria’s detention of Mr. Kanu was illegal because of his extraordinary rendition from Kenya in violation of international and state laws. (See Attachment B). The Court ordered dismissal of all charges against him. Again, President Buhari and Attorney General Malami have flouted the Court’s orders and kept Nnamdi Kanu illegally detained.
“The Opinions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Court of Appeals of Nigeria speak for themselves. They are crystal clear.
“Accordingly, I would respectfully urge you individually and collectively to recommend to President Joe Biden that he impose sanctions against President Buhari and Attorney General Malami for gross violations of Mr. Kanu’s internationally recognized human rights under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, 22 U.S.C. 2656 note, The sanctions should include ineligibility for a visa to enter the United States and blocking of all transactions in properties of Mr. Buhari and Mr. Malami in the United States.
“What Nigeria has done to Mr. Kanu is indistinguishable from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Saudi Arabian Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman sending thugs abroad to poison, murder, torture, silence, and intimidate dissidents to their dictatorial regimes. They are a threat to international peace and security and subvert the rule-based international order championed by the United States.
“To permit President Buhari’s and Attorney General Malami’s thuggery to escape with impunity would be unacceptable.”
The Federal Government has taken its case against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu to the Supreme Court.
This online newspaper understands that it has asked the apex court to stay the execution of the October 13 Court of Appeal judgment that freed the leader of the separatist group.
The motion contained a seven-ground notice of appeal, in which the Federal Government not only faulted the lower court’s decision but equally prayed that it be set aside.
The appellant argued, among others, that the Court of Appeal erred when it faulted the manner Kanu was brought back to face trial after he jumped bail and fled the country.
It contended further that the Court of Appeal erred when it struck out the pending charge against Kanu on the ground that the trial court no longer possessed the requisite jurisdiction to continue the trial because of the manner Kanu was returned to the country upon allegedly jumping bail.
A date for the hearing of the motion for the stay of execution is being awaited.
Last Thursday, the Court of Appeal in Abuja declared as unlawful Kanu’s repatriation to Nigeria from Kenya and his subsequent arraignment before a Federal High Court in Abuja for the continuation of his trial on pending terrorism charges.
The three-member panel of the court also quashed the terrorism charge brought against him by the Federal Government, pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Appeal Court was of the view that the Nigerian government breached all known local and international laws in the forceful rendition of Kanu to Nigeria, thereby making the terrorism charge against him incompetent and unlawful.
The judgment was on an appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022 filed by Kanu against an earlier ruling by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In the lead judgment, Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie declared as illegal and unlawful Kanu’s abduction from Kenya and his subsequent return to Nigeria.
Justice Adefope-Okojie proceeded to quash the remaining seven counts in the 15-count charge filed by the Federal Government.
Justice Nyako of the Federal High Court had, in an earlier ruling, quashed eight out of the 15 counts.
Justice Adefope-Okojie held that the Nigerian government violated all laws in the forceful rendition of Kanu to Nigeria, thus invalidating the charges.
“By the illegal abduction and extra-ordinary rendition of the appellant, there was a clear violation, by the respondent (Federal Government) of international treaties, conventions, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights,” she said.
Justice Adefope-Okojie added that having flagrantly breached Kanu’s fundamental rights, the Federal Government lost the legal right to put him on trial.
She held that the trial court, therefore, lacked the jurisdiction to try the appellant on the retained counts of the charge.
“No court can try him going by the circumstances of the extraordinary rendition,” she said.
Justice Adefope-Okojie said: “Having resolved issue one in favour of the appellant, which deals with jurisdiction, the appeal succeeds. The order of Justice Binta Nyako which ordered the appellant to answer to counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15 is set aside, terminated and dismissed.
“Appellant is accordingly discharged,” Justice Adefope-Okojie said.
Nnamdi Kanu‘s legal team has issued a formal notice of release to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Director General of the State Security Service, demanding the immediate release of their client.
The legal team, led by Mike Ozekhome (SAN), issued the formal notice dated October 17, 2022. In the notice shared on Tuesday by IPOB’s lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofor on his Facebook handle, The team urged the AGF and DG of DSS to immediately comply with the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
On October 13, the Appellate court discharged Mr Kanu of the remaining charges against him.
What the lawyers are saying
In the final formal notice of release which was attached with a copy of the Appellate court’s judgment, the legal team urged Abubakar Malami and the DG of the State Security Service to refer to the judgment and release their client immediately.
Part of the notice by Kanu’s legal team said, “recall that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was forcibly abducted from Kenya and was consequently extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria. Upon being brought before the court on the 29th day of June 2021, the court directed that he be remanded in the facility of the State Security Service. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been in the custody of the State Security Service, from the said 29th June 2022, till date.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics had reported that the Federal Government reacted to the ruling by the Court of Appeal by noting that Mr Kanu was only discharged but not acquitted.
- A statement from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation said the Appeal Court’s decision was on a single issue that borders on rendition. The AGF also insisted that the other issues remained valid for judicial determination.
- The AGF also said that the federal government will consider all available options open to them on the judgment on rendition while pursuing the determination of pre-rendition issues.
The FG has reacted to the judgement of the Court of Appeal quashing the charges against Nnamdi Kanu, saying that he was only discharged by the court but not acquitted.
The Federal Government, on Thursday, said the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu was not acquitted by the Court of Appeal.
It said the appellate court only decided a single issue that borders on rendition, and that Kanu has other pre-rendition cases to answer.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) who reacted to the judgment gave an indication that it will approach the Supreme Court to challenge the Court of Appeal judgment that quashed the terrorism charge it preferred against the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
Malami, SAN, while insisting that issues that predated Kanu’s rendition from Kenya, are yet to be determined by the court, said the government would exploit the appropriate legal options and also communicate same to the public.
A statement the AGF made available to newsmen through his media aide, Dr. Umar Gwandu, read: “The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has received the news of the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the trial of Nnamdi Kanu.
“For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the Court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted.
“Consequently, the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public.
“The decision handed down by the court of appeal was on a single issue that borders on rendition.
“Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predates rendition on the basis of which Kanu jumped bail remain valid issues for judicial determination.
“The Federal Government will consider all available options open to us on the judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues”.