How Supreme Court Adjourned Kanu’s Case To Sept 14

The Supreme Court of Nigeria yesterday adjourned to the 14th of Sep­tember, 2023, for definite hearing of the appeal filed by the Federal Government challenging the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Africa Today News, New York reports that Nnamdi Kanu has been in custody since his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria from Kenya in November 2021.

Recall that the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, had on October 13, 2022, discharged Nnamdi Kanu of alleged treason and terror­ism charges against him and dismissed the remaining six-count charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

The appellate court fault­ed the processes adopted by the Federal Government in rendering Kanu back to Nigeria from Kenya on the grounds that it breached all known international proto­col.

However, another panel of the same court, on the 28th of Oc­tober, 2022, granted Fed­eral Government’s prayer for a stay of execution of the court’s earlier decision pending hearing and deter­mination of the instant ap­peal at the Supreme Court.

Read Also: Kanu’s Acquittal: Nigeria Still Has Upright Judges – IPOB

Hearing of the main ap­peal slated for Thursday was stalled because of the insis­tence of the Federal Govern­ment to file response to an objection raised by Kanu’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), in his brief of argu­ment.

The Supreme Court had at the last adjourned date of April 27, 2023, gave the Fed­eral Government six days to file all her processes and serve same on Kanu.

But at Thursday’s pro­ceeding, Tijani Gazali (SAN), counsel for the Federal Gov­ernment, informed the court that he needed time to re­spond to an objection raised by Ozekhome in his brief of argument that was served on him on Wednesday.

Reacting, Ozekhome said that the appellant could re­spond orally to the objection contained in his brief of ar­gument and allow the main appeal to be heard.

He appealed to the panel of Justices to grant a short adjournment should the appeal be shifted in view of Kanu’s worsening health conditions or alternatively hear his bail application.

‘If this is not possible, my Lords kindly hear the respondent’s application seeking to transfer Kanu from the custody of the De­partment of State Services (DSS) to the National Correc­tional Cente’, Ozekhome told the court.

Moved by Ozekhome’s plea, the Presiding Justice, Justice John Inyang Okoro, said Kanu will not die and called for the court’s diary.

He explained that the only available short date is Sep­tember 14, 2023.

According to him, ‘It would amount to an exer­cise in futility if any of the application is taken because there is no time to write the ruling and deliver it in three months’ time particularly as the court would proceed on vacation soon.’

Justice Okoro also said that the apex court is oc­cupied with political cases which are time bound.

Meanwhile, the court granted four separate appli­cations brought by the Fed­eral Government for exten­sion of time and to deem as properly filed and served on respondents the processes it filed out of time.

Africa Today News, New York

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