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Nnamdi Kanu: Appeal court reserves judgment in FG’s stay of execution suit

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THE Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in the suit filed by the Federal Government to stop the execution of the ruling that freed the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.

Justice Haruna Tsammani announced that a date for judgment would be communicated to all parties after listening to the arguments of both the defense team and the appellant on Monday.

Represented by David Kaswe, the Federal Government cited national security as the reason for filing the application for stay of execution.

He prayed the court not to release Kanu pending the determination of the Federal Government’s 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.”

However, Kanu’s lawyer Mike Ozekhome opposed the application for stay of execution, arguing that it was a ploy to overrule the judgment of the appellate court.

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“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.

The ICIR had reported how a three-member panel of the appellate court on Thursday struck out all the remaining seven charges against Kanu.

The court ruling followed Justice Binta Nyako’s judgment in April, which struck out eight of the 15 counts in the charge preferred against the IPOB leader by the Nigerian government..

The judge, however, held that Kanu had some questions to answer in counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 15 of the charge.

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But Kanu 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.

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 offenses Kanu was alleged to have committed happened in Kenya and not in Nigeria.

However, in a swift reaction, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami kicked against the judgment, saying the court did not go into the substantive case, which was ongoing before Kanu jumped bail.

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