The Supreme Court has fixed September 14, 2023, for the definite hearing of the federal government’s appeal to challenge the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The apex court’s decision follows the request made by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Kanu’s lawyer, for a short adjournment to prevent his client from dying in detention. Justice John Inyang Okoro responded to the plea, stating that Kanu would not die and called for the court’s diary to fix a date for the hearing.
Justice Okoro further explained that any application taken now would be an exercise in futility since there is no time to write the ruling and deliver it within three months, given that the court will proceed on vacation soon. The apex court is preoccupied with political cases that are time-bound, making it impossible to hear Kanu’s case before September 14, 2023, which is the only available short date.
The federal government brought four separate applications before the Supreme Court, and the court granted them all. The hearing of the main appeal, which was scheduled for the previous day, could not hold because the federal government insisted on filing its response to an objection raised by Ozekhome in his brief of argument.
It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, cleared Nnamdi Kanu of alleged treason and terrorism charges against him on October 13, 2022, and dismissed the remaining six count charges brought against him by the Federal Government. The court faulted the processes adopted by the federal government in bringing Kanu back to Nigeria from Kenya, citing a breach of known international protocol.