Home Nigeria Supreme Court Moves Nnamdi Kanu’s Case to September 14, as Ozekhome Expresses...

Supreme Court Moves Nnamdi Kanu’s Case to September 14, as Ozekhome Expresses Fear for Kanu’s Life in DSS Custody

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Supreme Court
Supreme Court

By Uche Amunike

The Supreme Court, Thursday,  has moved for the adjournment of the case of the leader of the proscribed secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to September 14, 2023.

The suit was adjourned by the John Okoro-led five-member panel of Justices, not minding the frantic efforts made by Kanu’s team of lawyers to convince the court not to adjourn the case to another date.

The case centers on the federal government’s appeal made to query the decision of the Court of Appeal to dismiss the terrorism and treasonable felony charges against Kanu, last year.

THE IPOB leader also has an application for bail with an alternative prayer for transfer of his custody from the State Security Service (SSS) to the Kuje Correctional Center in Abuja, which is also, still pending before the Supreme Court.

During the proceedings, Nnamdi Kanu’s lead Counsel  Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged the court to hear a motion that could help address his client’s failing health condition in the custody of the SSS.

The federal government’s lawyer,  Tijani Gadzali (SAN), however objected and rather requested for time to file a response to Ozekhome’s reply brief.

As a result of Gadzali’s position, the Court took a stand and adjourned the case to September 27, 2023.

Recall that on the 27th April, the panel adjourned the case to Thursday for the hearing of applications that had cropped up in the appeal.

According to reports by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ozekhome, after the proceedings on Thursday, informed newsmen that he had a pending application seeking the release of his client on bail or an order, transferring him from the SSS custody to the Kuje Correctional Center in Abuja.

He reiterated that Nnamdi Kanu’s state of health in the SSS Custody was not encouraging. He described it as life threatening and stressed: ‘The court requires an individual to stand trial, not to ‘sit down trial’, ‘lie down trial’ or ‘prostrate trial’, which means that Kanu, with his state of health, cannot stand trial’ the lawyer lamented.

Note that Nnamdi Kanu has for years, clamored for an independent Republic of Biafra, which consists of mainly igbo-speaking states in the southeast and parts of their neighbouring states.

As a result of his separatist activities in 2015, he was incarcerated at the headquarters of the SSS. His trial also commenced on charges of treasonable felony and terrorism. After his country home in Abia state was invaded by the military, he fled the country for fear of his life while he was still on bail in September 2017, making his case remain on hold.

In June, 2021, he was forcibly brought back from Kenya by the Buhari-led government, to face trial. He eventually filed an application, challenging the 15 charges levied against him. The Federal High Court in Abuja, however dismissed eight of the counts which they deemed inappropriate.

Not satisfied with the partial discharge handed down by the court, Nnamdi Kanu headed to the Court of Appeal in Abuja where his request to have the remaining seven counts dismissed was granted and his release from custody granted on October 13, 2022, after the appellate court discovered that the manner in which Kanu was returned to Nigeria breached both local and international laws.

 

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