The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday 13th October declared as unlawful the abduction of the proscribed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from Kenya to Nigeria and revoked the terrorism charge brought against him by the Federal Government.
Delivering judgment in an appeal filed by Kanu, a three-member panel led by Justice Hanatu Sankey, in a unanimous judgment, held that the respondent, by not responding to the appellant’s submissions, conceded to the allegation that Kanu was forcefully renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria.
The judgment read by Justice Adedotun Adefope-Okijie held that it was necessary for the federal government to prove the legality of Kanu’s arrival in Nigeria.
The appellate court held that the respondent flouted the Terrorism Act and was also in violation of all known international conventions and treaties guiding the extradition process thus, breaching the rights of the defendant.
The court further held that having illegally and forcefully renditioned the appellant, the trial court is stripped of jurisdiction to continue to try Kanu.
The appellate court held that 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 will never shy away from calling the Executive to order when it tilts towards executive recklessness”,
Therefore, the appeal has merit, the appellate court held.