From Kayode Lawal, Abuja.
The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed December 15 to deliver judgment in the
appeal filed by the Federal Government against the Court of Appeal judgment that quashed the criminal charges against Nnamdi Kanu and ordered his release.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun fixed the judgment date after taking arguments from Kanu’ s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome SAN and Tijani Gazali SAN who stood for the Federal Government.
The Federal Government while presenting its case appealed to the Apex Court to void and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal which voided the charges against Kanu and ordered his release.
Gazali specifically, pleaded that the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which upheld 7 count charges against Kanu be affirmed so that Kanu can be brought for trial in the charges.
However while opposing the federal government, Ozekhome maintained that the Federal Government had since June 29, 2021 been detaining Kanu illegally, unlawfully and unconstitutionally.
The Senior lawyer pleaded that the judgment of the Court of Appeal which quashed the entire charges against Kanu and ordered his immediate release be upheld and affirmed.
Ozekhome maintained that Kanu’s continued detention by the federal government was unlawful in the face of the subsisting Court of Appeal judgment which had ordered that Kanu be immediately released.
Insisting that no government has power to trample on the fundermental rights of citizens as in the case of Kanu, Ozekhome maintained that his client is being detained in gross violation of both local and international laws.
He therefore urged the Supreme Court to uphold the judgment of the Court of Appeal and order immediate release of Kanu.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division had on October 13, 2022 in a judgment in an appeal filed and argued by Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN dismissed the remaining 7 count criminal charges brought against Kanu by the Federal Government at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
In an appeal against the High Court ruling, the Court of Appeal while upholding all arguments and submissions of Mike Ozekhome quashed the entire 15 count criminal charges.
The Appellate Court agreed with Ozekhome that the Federal Government violated rules of engagement in the ways and manners Kanu was arrested in Kenya and brought to Nigeria.
Specifically, the Court of Appeal held that the Nigerian government broke the international laws and resorted to self help in its failure to file extradition charge against the IPOB leader in Kenya instead of resorting to unlawful abduction, rendition.
The panel of the three Justices of the Court of Appeal, in allowing the appeal argued by Ozekhome SAN had ordered immediately and unconditional release of Kanu from the custody of the Department of the State Service (DSS).
The Court also prohibited the Federal Government from further detaining or prosecuting Kanu on any indictment or charge before any court in Nigeria.
Apparently dis-satisfied with the Court of Appeal judgment, the Federal Government took the case to the Supreme Court with request to quash the findings of the Court of Appeal and restore the trial of Kanu on treasonable felony at the Federal High Court.
The Federal High Court had in an earlier ruling, retained 7 counts out of the original 15 counts against Kanu, after striking out eight out of the 15 count charge.
Justice Binta Nyako while striking out 8 charges had held that Kanu had questions to answer on 7 other counts.