The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has discharged the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu was prosecuted by the Federal Government at the Federal High Court in Abuja on a 15 count charge bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism, offences he denied.
Kanu had faulted the ruling of Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court, Abuja, which ordered him to answer seven out of the 15-count terrorism charge against him.
He had prayed the appellate court to quash the entire charges and set him free on various grounds including that the purported offences were not committed in Nigeria.
Kanu has repeatedly called for the breakaway of southern Nigeria to form the Republic of Biafra.
On October 2015, he was arrested by Nigerian authorities on an 11-count charge bordering on “terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.”
He was granted bail on April 2017 for medical reasons.
However, Kanu fled the country in September 2017 after an invasion of his home by the military in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State.
He was then sighted in Israel before relocating to London, UK. He has been under DSS detention since June 2021 when we was captured in Kenya and brought to Nigeria.
Vanguard reported that delivering its judgement on Thursday, October 13, the appellate court, in a decision by a three-man panel led by Justice Jummai Hanatu, said it was satisfied that FG flagrantly violated the law, when it forcefully rendered Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial.
The court held that the 15-count charge preferred against Kanu did not disclose the place, date, time and nature of the alleged offences before being unlawfully extradited to Nigeria in clear violation of international treaties.
It held that such extra-ordinary rendition, without adherence to due process of the law, was a gross violation of all international conventions, protocols and guidelines that Nigeria is signatory to, as well as a breach of the Appellant’s fundamental human rights.
The appellate court noted that FG failed to refute the allegation that the IPOB leader was in Kenya and that he was abducted and brought back to the country without any extradition proceeding.
The court also held that the Federal Government failed to disclose where Nnamdi Kanu was arrested despite the grave allegations of terrorism against him.
The ruling was confirmed by Kanu’s lead counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.
“Appeal allowed , Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi KANU, discharged and acquitted. We have won! Victory victory victory victory.”