The Supreme Court has announced that the hearing for the Indigenous People of Biafra’s (IPOB) lawsuit seeking the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, has been adjourned until September 14th.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that this comes after the Appellate Court stopped the release of Kanu, prompting IPOB to file the suit at the apex court. The lawsuit was initially reported on November 3, 2022.
The lead lawyer for IPOB and human rights activist, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had in a statement said, “We have appealed to the Supreme Court, to set aside the ruling of the Court of Appeal, staying the execution of the court’s judgment discharging him, and placing a further bar to any further detention and prosecution of Nnamdi Kanu on any charge/indictment before any court in Nigeria.
“Recall that on October 28, 2022, a three-person panel of Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal (Abuja Judicial Division), granted an application for the stay of execution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, pending the determination of the appeal filed before the Supreme Court by the Federal Government.
“After a thorough review of the said ruling by our defence team, eminently led by foremost leading Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), an informed decision was taken by the erudite Senior Advocate, and the entire team, that the said ruling, which has no foundation in law or facts, placed before the court, should be immediately appealed against, for it to be set aside by the Apex Court.
“Our well-informed position was given a final nod by our indefatigable client, Nnamdi Kanu, during my last visit to him.
“We therefore, by this medium, inform the general public, and Umuchineke in particular, that we have filed an appeal against the said ruling of the Court of Appeal delivered on October 28, 2022, and will proactively follow up on the administrative process to ensure that both appeals are given accelerated hearings in line with the extant fast-track rules of the Supreme Court.
In addition, Kanu’s special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, had implored the apex court to ensure justice in the trial of his client.
The suit was filed in response to the verdict of the Appellate Court, which halted the release of the Igbo self-determination group’s leader.
Kanu was detained at the Abuja headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) after his extradition from Kenya in June 2021. His arrest and continued detention have been challenged by his family and lawyers, but the federal government has refused to release him.
In January 2022, Justice Benson Anya of the Abia State High Court ruled that Kanu’s 2017 arrest was illegal and an infringement of his human rights, and ordered the government to pay him N1billion as compensation.
However, Kanu remained under arrest. Kanu’s disregard of the Nigerian constitution to abscond bail in 2017 has been a subject of controversy since his arrest.