THE Nigerian government has been asked to pay the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafran (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu the sum of N1 billion for the Nigerian Army’s unlawful invasion of his residence in 2017.
The order was given by Justice Benson Anya of the Abia State High Court in a fundamental right suit filed by Kanu’s counsel Aloy Ejimakor on Tuesday.
In the suit, the plaintiff had prayed the court to make four declarations and issue three orders.
The declarations were that the military invasion of Kanu’s home in Abia State in September 2017 by the Nigerian government was illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounted to infringement of his fundamental rights to life, the dignity of his person, his liberty and fair hearing as guaranteed under the 1999 Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
It was also declared that the alleged torture and detention of Kanu in Kenya by agents of the Nigerian government was illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounted to infringement of his fundamental rights against torture and fair hearing, as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
Kanu also sought an order of injunction restraining the Nigerian government from taking any further step in his ongoing prosecution at the Federal High Court pursuant to his unlawful expulsion from Kenya to Nigeria.
The plaintiff also sought an order mandating and compelling the Nigerian government to release forthwith from detention and restore him to his liberty as was the case on June 19, 2021, and to thereupon repatriate him to Britain, his country of domicile and citizenship.
Kanu also asked the court to compel the Nigerian government to issue an official apology letter for the infringement of his fundamental rights and publication of the letter in three national daily newspapers.
Justice Anya, in his judgement, ruled that his abduction and forceful return to Nigeria was ‘illegal’ under local and international laws.
Anya also ruled that the Nigerian government should pay Kanu a sum of N1billion to compensate for the violation of his fundamental human rights.
The judge rejected the challenge by the Nigerian government on the jurisdiction of the case.