The Supreme Court, on Thursday, slated December 15 to deliver its judgement on the appeal that is seeking to compel the Federal Government to release the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, from detention.
While the Federal Government was represented by a legal team under the direction of Mr. T. A. Gazzali, SAN, the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Kanu Agabi, SAN, led Kanu’s legal team.
Despite the fact that Prof. Mike Ozehkome, SAN, presented Kanu’s appeal to the top court panel, Agabi, SAN, led Kanu’s legal team.
Ozehkome, SAN, prayed the court to not only order the immediate release of his client from detention, but to equally award “very heavy and punitive cost” against FG.
“We urge my lords to uphold our Cross-Appeal in order to do substantial justice to this matter and to the Respondent who has been in detention since June 29, 2021, even after the lower court ordered his release and that he should never be prosecuted again on the same counts.
“They are still holding him unconstitutionally. We pray my lords to deliver justice and use this case, just like in Ojukwu Vs State, to demonstrate that no man or government should be above the law,” Ozehkome, SAN, pleaded.
FG’s attorney, Gazzali, SAN, however, urged the top court to uphold the revised brief of argument he submitted on May 3, 2023 in his submission.
He requested that the court grant FG’s appeal, vacate the Court of Appeal’s decision ordering Kanu’s freedom, and instruct the Federal High Court in Abuja to resume his prosecution on terrorism-related charges.
Gazzali, SAN, further urged the apex court to dismiss Kanu’s Cross-Appeal.
Recall that on October 13, 2022, the Court of Appeal in Abuja issued a ruling that ordered Kanu’s release from custody.
A 15-count terrorism allegation that the FG filed against the arrested IPOB leader before the Federal High Court in Abuja was unanimously dismissed by the appellate court in a three-member panel ruling.
The court declared that it was satisfied that the FG had flagrantly broken all known rules when it extradited Kanu from Kenya to the country to continue his trial.
It held that such arbitrary use of power by the Nigerian government, divested the trial court of the jurisdiction to continue with Kanu’s trial.
FG, however, appealed the case to the Supreme Court after being unhappy with the verdict.
Furthermore, it convinced the appellate court to halt the judgment’s execution while the appeal was being heard.