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Appeal Court Discharges Nnamdi Kanu, Challenges High Court’s Jurisdiction

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Thursday discharged the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, from the 15-count terrorism charge brought against him by the federal government.

The appellate court in a decision faulted the process in which Kanu was brought before the Federal High Court to answer to a 15-count terrorism charge.

According to the judgment, the arrest, abduction and subsequent arraignment of Kanu before a Federal High Court violated international convention on terrorism and thus robbed any court of law in Nigeria necessary jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

The appellate court in their judgment held that the trial court ought to have evaluated the circumstances in which Kanu was brought into the country to continue his trial.

According to the three man panel, the issue of jurisdiction is very key in any trial and must be resolved before further issues once raised.

The appellate court while stating that the issue of jurisdiction was properly raised before the trial court as to the circumstances Kanu was extradited into the country, observed that the trial court turned a blind eye to it. 

According to the judgment, the federal government violated international convention on terrorism, which it is a signatory, when it illegally arrested Kanu in Kenya and extraordinarily brought him to Nigeria for trial.

The appellate court held that the warrant of arrest issued against Kanu was not enough reason or excuse for the government to violate international convention and charters. 

“Having resolved issue one in favour of the appellant, which deals with jurisdiction, the appeal succeed, the order of Justice Binta Nyako which ordered appellant to answer to counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15 is set aside, terminated and dismissed

“Appellant is accordingly discharged”, the appellate court held. 


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