Don’t Behave Like An Outlaw; Comply With Appeal Court Judgment Releasing Nnamdi Kanu, Intersociety Tells Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Malami Kanu

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Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) for his interpretation of the judgement of the Court of Appeal which discharged the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

A human rights organisation, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has slammed the

The Appeal Court Justices while ruling on Kanu’s appeal on Thursday, declared as illegal and unlawful, the extraordinary rendition of Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria and quashed the entire terrorism charges brought against him by the Nigerian Government.

It further held that the government breached all local and international laws in the forceful rendition of Kanu to Nigeria, thereby making the terrorism charges against him incompetent and unlawful.

The apex court voided and set aside the charges by the Federal Government against Kanu and also discharged him.

The court held that the failure of Nigeria to follow due process by way of extradition was fatal to the charges against Kanu.

But the Malami, in a swift reaction to the judgement of the Court of Appeal, said Kanu was only discharged by the court but not acquitted.

Malami in a statement issued through his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, said the court’s decision was on a single issue that bordered on rendition.

He maintained that there were other issues predating Kanu’s rendition “on the basis of which Kanu jumped bail” which remained “valid issues for judicial determination.”

Reacting to the disposition of the Attorney General, Intersociety said he is gravely pushing Nigeria into regional and international abyss of mockery and charlatanism with far-reaching consequences on the country’s socio-economic development, regional and international human rights, rule of law and democracy ratings and trade and investment policies including foreign direct investments (FDI).

Intersociety, in the statement signed by its principal officers, Emeka Umeagbalasi and Chidinma Udegbunam, strongly condemned the Nigerian Government’s total disregard and disobedience to the judgment, describing it as an affront to the judiciary.

The arrogation of the ‘interpretative power” by the Attorney General including “what to obey and what not to obey” in the landmark judgment is also tyrannical, vexatious and democratically calamitous, it said.

It said that the only option available to Nigeria’s Attorney General as the law officer of Nigeria is to fully consent to the judgment or appeal within the stipulated timeframe. “Consenting or not consenting to the landmark judgment is however immaterial to the order of the three Justices-led Court of Appeal: Release Nnamdi Kanu from protracted DSS dungeon!!!

“Should the Nigerian Government decide to head to the Supreme Court in exercise of its right under the country’s body of laws, then Nnamdi Kanu must first of all be set free-with the worst case scenario being to place him in civil liberties-compliant movement surveillance if in the sincere opinion of the Nigerian State, granting him total freedom of movement, expression and association will be injurious to the pendency of the apex appeal (if any) and its final determination.

“It is the informed and lettered understanding of Intersociety that the grand summary of the landmark judgment of the Court of Appeal is that “something can never come from nothing”. Once it is judicially established that a trial Court has erred in law by assuming jurisdiction in a case where its jurisdiction ought not to have been assumed, all the efforts of the Court become a nullity.

“Intersociety has severally cautioned the present Federal Government against its indiscriminate resort to short-cuts, jungle justice and prosecutorial vindictiveness and had also reminded the Government that “a criminal is not a criminal until he or she is diligently and procedurally processed and subjected to unbiased suspicion, investigation, lawful arrest and detention; fair trial and fair hearing and sentencing and conviction”.

“But in the contrary under present Federal Government, impunity and lawlessness fueled by ethnic profiling and hatred such as in the instant case, have reigned and continued to reign supreme with utter alacrity; to the extent of being its Criminal Justice policy direction. The three-man Appellate Panel has in the instant case correctly and fundamentally faulted the process (unlawful rendition or extradition) initiated by Nigerian Government upon which its preferring criminal charges against Nnamdi Kanu and his subsequent snail pace prosecution was relied upon.

“It is also surprising that the Attorney General has chosen to arbitrarily disobey the landmark judgment even when the same Federal Government was duly part of the entire Court processes including being the accusing authority.”

The rights group further stated, “With the latest landmark judgment, the role of the trial Court of first instance (Justice Binta Nyako-led Abuja Federal High Court) is permanently put on hold pending the determination of the Apex appeal at the Supreme Court (if any). The AGF is constitutionally mandated by Section 287 (2) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution to comply and enforce the judgment to the letter and he must not act like an outlaw.”

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