Kanu in limbo as FG, his lawyers tango over Appeal Court ruling

By our reporter| As expected, the federal government and lawyers to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) have arrived at different conclusions following the Court of Appeal judgment on Thursday.

The national security council, on Friday, toed the line of Abubakar Malami, the AGF in asserting that Kanu was acquitted but not discharged despite the judgement of the appellate court.

However, lead counsel to Kanu, Mike Ozekhome disagreed with the position of the AGF NSC, stating on Friday that his client has been freed and should be allowed to go home.

Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi who conveyed the NSC position to reporters at the end of Friday’s national security council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, explained that a political solution was not discussed at the council but centralized discussion on the court’s outcome.

The council, according to him, is therefore considering an appropriate action to take on the matter and would notify Nigerians of its final position on the matter in due course.

The Council’s move gives backing to a statement by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, shortly after the appeal court verdict to free Kanu.

“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has received the news of the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the trial of Nnamdi Kanu,” the statement signed by Malami’s spokesperson, Dr. Umar Jibril Gwandu, said

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

Nnamdi Kanu should be allowed to go home – Ozekhome

Meanwhile, Mike Ozekhome, senior counsel to Kanu has called for the immediate release of his client.

Ozekhome made the call in an interview with Channels Television in reaction to the judgment of the appeal court which discharged Kanu of a seven-count charge preferred against him and the federal government’s reaction to the ruling.

“Nnamdi Kanu is a free man and he should be allowed to go home tomorrow,” Ozekhome said.

Ozekhome, who detailed the reasons why the appeal court struck out the case, said he would also file a cross-appeal on the matter based on government’s position.

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“The single issue bordering on extraordinary rendition, after he was brutally captured, tortured, in Kenya blindfolded and extrajudicially rendered back to Nigeria, is what determined it we put all this first before the court,” he said.

“The federal government had no answer to any of the allegations. And in law when we make certain factual allegations and they are not denied, they are deemed admitted.

“So if the federal government wants to pursue trifles, against a citizen by appealing against such a wall rendered judgement, I can only wish them good luck.

“But let me also tell the federal government if they appeal I’m going to file a cross-appeal against two of the issues, which I do not agree with the court of appeal.

“That is the issue of the citus of the place of commission of an offence. Section 45 of the federal high court act, and decisions of the supreme court, make it clear that you can only try a person in the place where you disclose the venue of the commission of the crime, the time the circumstances.

“But when you say Nnamdi made a broadcast, from where did he make the broadcast? Is it in the spirit world? Is it the land of the dead? The court of appeal, with all respect, appeared to have glossed over this.”

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