THE Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has discharged and acquitted the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu, who is being tried by the Federal Government on charges bordering on terrorism, was freed by a three-member panel of the court on Thursday.
The appellate court set aside the judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court which ordered Kanu to answer seven out of the 15-count terrorism charge filed against him.
Justice Binta Nyako had, in a judgment in April, struck out eight of the 15 counts in the charge preferred against the IPOB leader.
The judge, however, held that Kanu had some questions to answer in counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 15 of the charge.
But Kanu, through his team of lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome, filed an appeal to quash the remaining seven counts for lack of merit.
In its ruling, the appellate court agreed with Kanu’s counsel that the IPOB leader was illegally abducted and extra-ordinarily renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria, against both international and local laws.
“By the illegal abduction and extra-ordinary rendition of the appellant, there was a clear violation of the respondent (Federal Government) to international treaties, conventions, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights”, the court held.
The panel led by Justice Jummai Hanatu also held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to handle the charges against Kanu, as he was not properly arraigned before the court.
The Court of Appeal further held that the offences Kanu was alleged to have committed happened in Kenya and not in Nigeria.