Kanu discharged, not acquitted, says Malami

Our reporter/ Nigeria’s minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, on Thursday said the federal government will explore “all available options” to determine the terrorism charge it preferred against IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Hanatu Sankey, earlier on Thursday struck out the terrorism charge filed against Kanu by the federal government on the grounds that Nigeria flouted the Terrorism Act and was also in violation of all known international conventions and treaties to which it is a signatory to guiding extradition process, in the rendition of the respondent thus, breaching his rights.

The court further held that having illegally and forcefully renditioned the appellant, the trial court is stripped of jurisdiction to continue to try Kanu.

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According to the appellate court, the federal government’s action “tainted the entire proceedings” it initiated against Kanu and amounted to “an abuse of criminal prosecution in general”.

The court upheld the appeal and dismissed the remaining seven-count charge against the IPOB leader.

However, reacting in a statement through his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, Malami said the court of appeal did not go into the substantive case which was ongoing before Kanu jumped bail.

He hinted that the court of appeal’s verdict, which strength was on the illegal rendition of the appellant (Kanu), would be appealed.

“For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted,” he said.

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“Consequently, the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public.

The decision handed down by the court of appeal was on a single issue that borders on rendition.

“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 the judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues.”

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