The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja had yesterday Thursday October 13, 2022, discharged the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Nnamdi Kanu who is being prosecuted by the Federal Government at the Federal High Court in Abuja on 15 count charges bordering, including treasonable felony and terrorism, offences he allegedly committed in the course of his separatist campaigns.
The three-man panel of the Court of Appeal in a monumental judgement, said the Federal High Court lacks the jurisdiction to try him in view of his abduction and extraordinary rendition to Nigeria in flagrant violation of the OAU convention and protocol on extradition.
The court held that the 15-count charge preferred against Kanu did not disclose the place, date, time and nature of the alleged offences before being unlawfully extradited to Nigeria in clear violation of international treaties.
The court further held that the Federal Government failed to disclose where Nnamdi Kanu was arrested despite the grave allegations against him
Recall that Nnamdi Kanu was re-arraigned before a Federal High Court on amended 15 counts bordering on treasonable felony preferred against him by the Nigerian government.
However, on April 8, Justice Binta Nyako struck out eight of the 15 counts.
While ruling on the preliminary objection seeking to quash the charges, the judge said counts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 14 had not disclosed any offence against the defendant (Kanu).
The charges that were struck out below are as follows: “Count 6: Made broadcasts to attack officers of the Nigeria Police Force; Count 7: Made broadcasts in which he incited members of the public to hunt and attack officers of the Nigerian Police Force.
“Court 8: Made broadcasts in which he directed members of the IPOB to manufacture bombs; Court 9: Made broadcasts on diverse dates in furtherance of terrorism against the Nigeria state and with intent to destabilise the fundamental political and economic structures of Nigeria, incited members of the public to stop the Anambra governorship election.
“Count 10: Incited members of the public to destroy public facilities. Count 11: Threatened members of the public not to come out on 31st May, 2021. Count 12: Made broadcasts with the intention to incite members of the public to stage a violent revolution in furtherance of acts of terrorism. Count 14: Directed members of the public to destroy the public transport system in Lagos, resulting in major economic loss to the governor.”
Nyako had said that counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 15 showed some allegations, which the defendant had to answer.
However, Kanu had through his team of lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome (SAN), filed an appeal marked CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022, praying the court to quash the remaining seven counts for being devoid of merit.
The appeal is equally praying the court to order his release on bail, pending the determination of his appeal.