Nnamdi Kanu To Appear In Court On Feb 26th Over Terrorism Charges

Nnamdi Kanu To Appear In Court On Feb 26th Over Terrorism Charges

The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to resume the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the self-appointed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on terrorism charges come Monday, February 26, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

This decision follows the Supreme Court’s judgment on December 15, 2023, which cleared the path for the continuation of Kanu’s trial on the remaining seven count charges against him.

A notice signaling the trial’s resumption indicated that proceedings would take place before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja. Both Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF) have been informed.

Furthermore, the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been contacted to ensure Kanu’s presence in court on the designated date.

The embattled IPOB leader has been in DSS custody since his arrest on June 19, 2021, when he was apprehended in Kenya and subsequently brought back to Nigeria by federal authorities.

Initially facing 15-count terrorism charges, Kanu saw eight of the charges dismissed by Justice Binta Nyako during trial. However, the remaining seven counts were upheld, prompting the order for Kanu to commence his defense against the alleged offenses.

In a dramatic turn, the Court of Appeal in Abuja nullified all terrorism charges against Kanu in October 2022, ordering his immediate release from DSS custody. The decision was based on the finding that Kanu’s rendition from Kenya by the Nigerian government violated extradition procedures and rendered his trial unlawful.

However, the federal government secured a stay of execution of this order following an appeal filed at the Supreme Court, leading to the apex court’s reversal of the Court of Appeal’s judgment on December 15, 2023.

In a unanimous judgment led by Justice Garba Lawal, but read by Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, the Supreme Court ruled that despite Kanu’s unlawful abduction from Kenya, Nigerian courts retained jurisdiction to proceed with his trial. The court emphasized that no Nigerian law supported the quashing of charges against Kanu solely due to his illegal extradition, stating that any redress for such actions should be pursued through a civil matter against the government.

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