THE Appeal Court has stopped the execution of its judgment that freed the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.
The ICIR had reported that a three-member panel of the court had this month faulted the rendition of Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria and also set aside the terrorism charges against him.
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.
“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 court further held that the offences Kanu was alleged to have committed happened in Kenya and not in Nigeria.
But, the Federal Government, which had earlier kicked against the court’s ruling, filed a motion to stop the execution of the judgment.
Represent by David Kaswe, the government cited national security as the reason for filing the application for a stay of execution.
The Federal Government prayed that Kanu should not be released pending the determination of its appeal at the Supreme Court.
“If Kanu is released, he may not be available to face his charges in court because he had already jumped bail before,” Kaswe said.
“Releasing him will increase the state of insecurity in the South-East.”
Opposing the application, Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, argued that it was a ploy to overrule the judgment of the appellate court.
“My lords should not allow them because it will cause chaos and anarchy.
“The release of Kanu will bring peace to the South-East so there is no need to stay execution where there is no valid appeal,” Ozekhome said.
On the issue that Kanu had earlier jumped bail, Ozekhome argued that Kanu did not jump bail but escaped for his life when his house was invaded by the Federal Government.
Ozekhome also argued that Kanu had a terminal illness and needed comprehensive medical attention outside of the Department of State Services (DSS) custody.
However, in its ruling on Friday, the court upheld the application of the Federal Government and ordered that the execution of the judgment be put on hold.
Justice Justice Haruna Tsanami, who delivered the ruling, held that the counter affidavit filed against the Federal Government’s application by Kanu’s legal team was misleading.