Supreme Court upholds FG’s appeal, Nnamdi Kanu to stand trial
The Supreme Court has upheld the Federal Government’s appeal challenging the earlier dismissal of charges against Nnamdi Kanu by the Appeal Court.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, in a judgement presided by Justice Garba Lawal, stated that the Court of Appeal erred in ruling that Kanu could not be retried despite the alleged illegality perpetrated against him by the Federal Government following the invasion of his home.
The Supreme Court emphasised that the Nigerian Government’s alleged unlawful extradition of Kanu from Kenya did not deprive the courts of their power to proceed with the trial. It also pointed out that the lawsuit seeking Kanu’s release did not cite any Nigerian law to support the claim of illegal abduction from Kenya.
The court asserted that the appropriate action for Kanu would be to file a civil matter against the alleged abduction instead of seeking to halt the criminal trial against him.
Kanu, the leader of the proscribed secessionist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been in detention since his re-arrest in June 2021.
The charges against him include treasonable felony, terrorism, illegal importation of radio equipment, and defamation of a former president.
The charges were later amended to 15 bordering on terrorism and membership of a proscribed group.
Justice Binta Nyako of the trial court had in her ruling dismissed eight out of the 15 charges, saying that Mr Kanu had questions to answer in relation to the remaining seven charges.
The recent Supreme Court ruling was delivered amidst tight security, and comes after calls by Ohanaeze and others for Kanu’s release. Kanu and his legal team have vehemently opposed his arrest and subsequent extradition to Nigeria, and have challenged the extraordinary rendition in court.
The court’s decision now paves the way for Kanu to stand trial on the charges held against him, marking a significant development in a case that has extended over the years.