The Nigerian Federal Government has obtained permission from the Supreme Court to file nine grounds of appeal against the release of the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from detention. The apex court granted the request to include the fresh grounds in its amended notice of appeal dated October 28, 2022.
The request was made by a government lawyer, Mr Tijani Gadzali, SAN, who also sought an adjournment to respond to Kanu’s request to be transferred from the detention facility of the Department of State Services (DSS) to the Kuje Correctional Centre. Gadzali told the court that he would need time to file a counter-affidavit to oppose Kanu’s request.
A five-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Inyang Okoro adjourned the case till May 11 for definite hearing, following the request.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja had, in a judgement delivered on October 13, 2022, ordered Kanu’s release from detention. In a unanimous decision by a three-member panel, the appellate court equally quashed a 15-count terrorism charge that the federal government entered against the detained IPOB leader, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The court said it was satisfied that the federal government flagrantly violated all known laws when it forcefully rendered Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial. It held that such arbitrary use of power by the Nigerian government divested the trial court of the jurisdiction to continue with Kanu’s case.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a socio-cultural organization of Igbo people, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to release Kanu unconditionally as a parting gift to the people of the southeast region. The group has been advocating for Kanu’s release, arguing that his continued detention is a violation of his fundamental human rights.
The Supreme Court has granted the Nigerian Federal Government permission to file fresh grounds of appeal against the release of Nnamdi Kanu, while the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has continued to call for his unconditional release. The case has been adjourned to May 11 for a definite hearing, and Nigerians are eagerly anticipating the outcome of this highly-publicized legal battle.