The Appellate Court sitting in Abuja has, on Thursday, struck out the terrorism charge filed against Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and declared him discharged and acquitted.
Holding 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 Appeal Court in a judgment by Justice Oludotun Adebola, therefore, voided and set aside the charges by the Federal Government against Kanu.
Recall that Kanu was first arraigned on December 23, 2015, and was later granted bail on April 25, 2017.
Sequent to the recent Appeal Court’s judgement, Kanu was, on April 8, re-arraigned on an amended 15-count charge bordering on treasonable felony preferred against him by the Federal Government, the presiding judge, however, struck out eight of the 15 counts in the charge.
But Kanu, through his team of lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome, on September 13, filed yet another appeal marked CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022, praying the court to quash the remaining seven counts for being devoid of merit and acquit Kanu immediately.
Moving the application at the court session, Ozekhome referred to the government’s extradition of his client from Kenya to Nigeria as an abduction.
The senior lawyer argued that under the “doctrine of speciality” as provided for in section 15 of the Extradition Act, the federal government ought to have proceeded to try Kanu on the initial five-count charge on which he was re-arraigned before he fled the country.
He further argued that Kenya, being the country from where Kanu was arrested and extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria, ought to have authorised his extradition and the new charges he is facing, which they didn’t.
The counsel to the federal government, David Kaswe, however, asked the court to dismiss the appeal for want of merit.
The Appellate Court proceeded to discharge Kanu from the alleged offences, maintaining that failure of Nigeria to follow due process by way of Extradition was fatal to the charges against Kanu.
Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, on Thursday, shared a post on his Facebook page saying, “Kanu won at last”.
“Appeal allowed, Oyendu Mazi Nnamdi KANU, discharged and acquitted. We have won!,” he wrote.