- The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu has initiated a suit for contempt proceedings against the Nigerian government
- The proceedings has been filed before a Federal Capital territory High Court in Maitama
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu has taken a step to ensure the federal government and the Department of State Services and the attorney general of the federation to obey court order mandating his unconditional release from Kuje Prison.
In a fresh move, Kanu has initiated a suit for contempt proceedings against the federal government, the attorney general of the federation and the director general of DSS.
A statement by Kanu's counsel Ifeanyi Ejiofor said the proceedings filed before a Federal Capital territory High Court in Maitama is expected to commit the respondents for non-execution of the court order given by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 17, 2015.
Kanu was first arrested by the DSS in Lagos on his return from United Kingdom on October 14, 2015.
Following his arrest, the DSS arraigned him before a Magistrate Court in Wuse Zone 2 in Abuja.
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However, the Magistrate granted the IPOB leader bail and later acquitted him of all charges against him.
But the DSS approached the Federal High Court where the agency obtained a remand order to detain him for 90 days following terrorism investigations carried out on him, a move Kanu's counsel described as "surreptitious".
The remand order - an exparte order - was obtained in pursuant to relevant sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
Subsequently, after hearing a motion on notice praying the court to set aside the exparte order made on the November 10, 2015 together with a counter affidavit filed by the DSS, Justice Ademola made another order setting aside the exparte remand order.
Upon vacation of the remand order, the court in a similar order to that of the Magistrate Court also directed the DSS to unconditionally release Kanu.
"Few days after the order was made, President Muhammadu Buhari, during a presidential media chat, said that Nnamdi Kanu cannot be granted bail by any Court in Nigeria," the statement said.
Kanu’s lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofor said: “The order made on the 17th day of December, 2016 by His Lordship, Hon. Justice A.F.A. Ademola, directing the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu was served on the State Security Services that same day the order was made.”
“Still, the Department of State Security Services failed, refused and/or neglected to obey the order directing the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, apparently due to reasons best known to them, which has no justification under any law.
“Thirteen days after this order was made, specifically on the 30th day of December, 2015, the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria- President Muhammadu Buhari, announced to the whole world during his presidential media chat that Nnamdi Kanu cannot be granted bail by any Court in Nigeria.
“This extra judicial pronouncement by the executive had continued to influence the direction of Nnamdi Kanu’s political trial, as part of the reasons given by the President during this Presidential media chat was quoted by the trial Court, as constituting the grounds militating against Nnamdi kanu’s freedom, while delivering Ruling on his bail application,” Ejiofor said.
This extra judicial pronouncement by the executive, according to the lawyer of the IPOB leader, had continued to influence the direction of Kanu’s political trial, as part of the reasons given by the President during this Presidential media chat.
It was quoted by the trial court, as constituting the grounds militating against Kanu’s freedom, while delivering ruling on his bail application.
"It is of elementary knowledge that an order of court is a law, which must be obeyed by all and sundry, including all institutions of government. It is the law that orders of the court no matter how it looks must be obeyed.
"But the anti-democratic forces have continued to treat with disdain and levity, positive orders of the court granted in favour of Nnamdi Kanu, particularly in his politically orchestrated trial,” the lawyer said.
Ejiofor said, the order made by Justice Ademola directing the unconditional release of IPOB leader has not been obeyed by the relevant Institutions of Government affected by that order.
Also note that Justice Ademola was among the judges who were arrested by the DSS in wee hours of Saturday, October 8.
He is currently being held by the security outfit in their facility at the DSS Abuja headquarters.
Although no specific reason had been given for his arrest, the DSS in a briefing said investigation on the arrested judges began due to their extravagant lifestyles.
"The service action is in line with its core mandate, as we have been monitoring the expensive and luxurious lifestyle of some of these judges as well as complaints from the concerned public over judgement obtained fraudulently on the basis of money paid," the DSS said.