Supreme Court fixes Dec 15 to determine Nnamdi Kanu’s fate
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, slated December 15 to deliver its judgement on the appeal that is seeking to compel the Federal Government to release the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, from detention.
A five-member panel of the apex court headed by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, okayed the matter for judgement, after counsel for both FG and the detained IPOB leader, adopted their final briefs of argument.
While FG was represented by a team of lawyers that were led by an Acting Director, Civil Appeals at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. T. A. Gazzali, SAN, Kanu’s legal team was led by a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Kanu Agabi, SAN.
Even though Agabi, SAN, led Kanu’s team of lawyers, however, it was Prof. Mike Ozehkome, SAN, that presented his appeal to the apex court panel.
Ozehkome, SAN, prayed the court to not only order the immediate release of his client from detention, but to equally award “very heavy and punitive cost” against FG.
“We urge my lords to uphold our Cross-Appeal in order to do substantial justice to this matter and to the Respondent who has been in detention since June 29, 2021, even after the lower court ordered his release and that he should never be prosecuted again on the same counts.
“They are still holding him unconstitutionally. We pray my lords to deliver justice and use this case, just like in Ojukwu Vs State, to demonstrate that no man or government should be above the law,” Ozehkome, SAN, pleaded.
However, in his submission, FG’s lawyer, Gazzali, SAN, 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, SAN, further urged the apex court to dismiss Kanu’s Cross-Appeal.
It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal in Abuja had in a judgement it delivered on October 13, 2022, ordered 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, FG took the matter before the Supreme Court.
It further persuaded the appellate court to suspend the execution of the judgement, pending the determination of its appeal.