The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory on Tuesday, has reserved judgment on the case against the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Human rights Lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who led the delegation of legal practitioners representing the IPOB leader, urged the court to strike out the remaining charges citing a lack of credibility.
Ozekhome specifically prayed the appellate court to review the April 8 ruling of the trial court which struck out only eight out of the 15 charges.
He also insisted that the charge FG entered against him had no basis in law. Kanu, in his appeal dated April 29 and marked CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022, applied to be discharged and acquitted.
However, following an application the embattled IPOB leader filed for abridgement of time, the appellate court brought the matter forward for hearing as against the initial October 11 fixed for the hearing.
When the matter was called up today, a three-man panel led by Justice Jummai Hanatu, said it had no need to delve into the issue of bail since the substantive appeal was ripe for hearing.
Arguing the appeal claim, Ozekhome alleged that his client was forcefully abducted from Kenya and illegally renditioned back to the country.
He told the court that his client was first arraigned on December 23, 2015 and was later granted bail on April 25, 2017.
“My lords, he was enjoying this bail without breaching the terms. However, he was in his ancestral home when agents of the respondent invaded his home in September 2017.
“When the Appellant travelled from London to Kenya, agents of the respondents, on June 27, 2021, forcefully abducted the appellant, tortured and renditioned him back to the country without following any extradition process,” Ozekhome added.
He further argued that Kenya, being the country from where Kanu was arrested and extraordinarily renditioned back to Nigeria, ought to have authorised his extradition.
Meanwhile, the FG, through its lawyer, Mr. David Kaswe, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for want of merit.
He asserted that the IPOB leader was brought back to the country by due process of the law.
He argued that the charge had been amended seven times owing to the conduct of the appellant.
“My lords, it took four years and huge resources to get the respondent arrested and brought back to face the charges against him.
“We are saying that the trial court was even wrong to have struck out the eight charges as it did.
“It is only after the FG has produced all its witnesses and tendered its evidence that the Appellant could claim that no prima-facie case was established.
“Finally, we urge this court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit,” Kaswe added.
After listening to both sides, the panel said it would communicate a date for the judgment.