Court grants FG leave to file 9 new grounds against Nnamdi Kanu’s release

The Supreme Court has granted leave to the federal government to bring nine new grounds of appeal against the release of detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.

A five-member Panel of Justices, led by Justice John Okoro granted the leave while ruling on the motion by the counsel to the federal government, Tijani Gadzali.

The apex court also granted leave to the federal government to include the nine new grounds as part of its amended notice of appeal dated 28th October 2022.

At the resumed hearing, Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, informed the court of his Motions seeking for bail of his client and another seeking for his transfer to kuje correctional facility to get proper medical attention citing his failing health at DSS custody.

He also prayed for an accelerated hearing of the matter.

However, speaking on the motion for transfer of Kanu out of the custody of the DSS, the Counsel to the federal government, prayed for an adjournment to file a counter affidavit stating that he just took over the Matter.

But in opposition to Ozekhome’s requests, the lawyer to the federal government, Gadzali, argued that the DSS detention centre has adequate resources to attend to Kanu’s health needs.

After listening to the arguments, the panel advised Ozekhome to withdraw his applications to pave way for a speedy hearing of the main suit.

It also directed Gadzali to file the appellant’s brief within six days from Thursday.

The Court subsequently adjourned until the 11th of next month for hearing on the pending motion and the main appeal.

Kanu was extradited from Kenya by the Nigerian government in June 2021, to face terrorism charges in Abuja.

Subsequently, he was re-arraigned before Binta Nyako, a federal high court judge in Abuja, on a 15-count terrorism charge.

However, while ruling on Kanu’s preliminary objection challenging the validity of the charge, the judge, on April 8, 2022, struck out eight of the 15 counts.

The IPOB leader went on to file an appeal against the remaining seven counts.

On October 13, the appellate court held that the federal government cannot prosecute the IPOB leader having breached his human rights and extradition laws by forcefully bringing him back to Nigeria.

Consequently, the court quashed the remaining counts and ordered Kanu’s release.

The federal government’s appeal against the October 13th judgment is what is pending before the supreme court.


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