Alloy Ejimakor and IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu
Ejimakor and Kanu

The federal government through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice has appealed the decision of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which freed Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Ifeanyi Ejiofor, a lawyer to Mr Kanu confirmed receipt of court filings concerning the appeal.

He said Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), received a copy of the court documents on the appeal at 5 p.m on Wednesday.

The government contended in its notice of appeal that the Court of Appeal was wrong to have faulted Kanu’s extraordinary rendition to Nigeria and gone ahead to strike out the charges against him on that basis.

It also argued the court erred when it struck out the pending terrorism charge against the IPOB leader.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja, had on 13 October, struck out the terrorism charges filed against Mr Kanu by the government.

It held that the IPOB leader was “extraordinarily renditioned” to Nigeria in flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and Mr Kanu’s fundamental human rights.

The court ordered the release of Mr Kanu from the custody of the State Security Service (SSS), where he has been detained since he was brought back to Nigeria in June last year.

But the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and his counterpart at the Ministry of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, argued the Court of Appeal only discharged Mr Kanu and did not acquit him.

“Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predate 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 judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues,” Mr Malami had said

The claims by the minister have been faulted by lawyers as a hollow basis for continuing to detain a suspect whose charges have been struck out.

In addition to appealing against the Court of Appeal’s decision, the government has applied to the Supreme Court for an order staying execution of the power’s judgement.

The AGF’s office filed the request for stay of execution on Thursday.

 

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