- The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Tuesday, September 13, heard Nnamdi Kanu's appeal against charge remaining seven-count by the FG
- After listening to the lawyers in the case, the appellate court reserved its judgement and announced a date for the verdict would be announced later
- Kanu's lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said his client was forcibly arrested in Kenya and illegally renditioned to Nigeria just as he argued for the dismissal of the charge against him
FCT, Abuja - The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved judgement on the remaining seven-count charge pending against Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The panel reserved its decision on Tuesday, September 13, after it listened to lawyers in the case, Premium Times reported.
Legit.ng gathers that the appellate court said a date for judgement would be communicated to the parties.
Nnamdi Kanu: What IPOB leader wants the court to do
Kanu had approached the appellate court, urging it to dismiss the federal government’s seven counts charge bordering on terrorism and treasonable felony.
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The IPOB leader is being tried before Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Nyako had in April while ruling on the IPOB leader’s preliminary objection challenging the validity of the charge, struck out eight of the 15 counts.
The judge ruled that Counts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 14 were incompetent for not disclosing any valid offences against the defendant. She, however, ruled that Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,13 and 15 disclosed valid charges against Kanu.
Kanu was abducted from Kenya, Ozekhome claims
At Tuesday’s proceedings, a three-member panel of the appellate court chaired by Jummai Hanatu said there was reason for it to inquire into the issue of Kanu’s bail since the substantive appeal was due for hearing.
The IPOB leader’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), told the panel that his client was forcibly arrested in Kenya and illegally renditioned to Nigeria in June 2021.
He argued that Kanu was first arraigned on December 23, 2015 and was later granted bail on April 25, 2017.
The senior lawyer also argued that Kanu was keeping with the terms of the bail but had to flee Nigeria when his native home in Abia state was “invaded” by security forces in September 2017.
“When the Appellant travelled from London to Kenya, agents of the Respondents, on June 27, 2021, forcefully abducted the Appellant, tortured and renditioned him back to the country without following any extradition process,” Ozekhome told the appellate court.
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He also argued against the validity of the pending seven counts against Kanu, adding that there was no need for the lower court to have retained the remaining seven-count charge.
He urged the court “to strike out the remaining counts and hold that” the federal government “has not established any prima-facie case against the appellant for which he could be tried.”
FG asks court to dismiss Kanu’s appeal
The federal government’s lawyer, David Kaswe, urged the court to dismiss Kanu's appeal for lacking in merit.
Contrary to Ozekhome's claim, Kaswe said Kanu was returned to Nigeria in compliance with due process of the law.
“My lords, it took four years and huge resources to get the respondent arrested and brought back to face the charges against him,” Kaswe told the panel.
FG drops one charge against Nnamdi Kanu
Meanwhile, another report indicates that the federal government has dropped one of the charges against Kanu.
It was gathered that Kanu’s legal team, led by Ozekhome, brought up a strong defense over allegations of terrorism and treasonable felony.
The IPOB leader's legal representatives through an appeal marked No: CA/ABJ/CR/ 625/2022 challenged the remaining allegations against Kanu.