Lawyers for Nnamdi Kanu Challenge Federal High Court’s Jurisdiction

Lawyers representing Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), have filed a Preliminary Objection at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The legal team is urging the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, to decline jurisdiction over the trial.


The defense’s objection centers on several pivotal issues, primarily questioning whether the court possesses the jurisdiction to try Kanu for the offenses listed in Counts 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8. They argue these counts should be quashed because the law underpinning them is unconstitutional.

The lawyers highlighted that there are two international tribunal decisions opposing Kanu’s arrest, detention, prosecution, and trial, which are binding on Nigerian courts under the constitution.

Additionally, the defense contends that the law under which Kanu is being tried for these counts has been repealed and lacks supporting evidence, labeling the proceedings as an abuse of court process.

The defense requests the court to decline jurisdiction, claiming it does not comply with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, falls outside the court’s territorial jurisdiction, and lacks supporting evidence and legal basis.

The defense argues this charge is unconstitutional as it seeks to punish Kanu for an act that was not a crime at the time it occurred, constituting an abuse of the court process.

Justice Nyako recently dismissed Kanu’s request to have his revoked bail reinstated and to be transferred from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to house arrest or prison custody.

The judge ruled that Kanu had previously jumped bail and fled the country. Furthermore, the sureties for his initial bail had been discharged after claiming they could not locate Kanu.

Justice Nyako advised that Kanu’s only recourse is to appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal, where he can exercise his right of appeal.

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