The Federal Government has appealed the judgment of the Court of Appeal which discharged and acquitted the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, of allegations of terrorism and treasonable felony.
A three-member panel of justices led by Justice Jummai Hanatu Sankey had last week struck out the remaining seven-count charges preferred against Kanu by the government, citing a violation of international law on his extraordinary rendition from Kenya.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had said Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted of the pending charges before his abscondment in September 2017.
In the seven-grounds notice of appeal filed on Tuesday before the Supreme Court, which included a stay of execution, the government contended that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it struck out the pending charge on the grounds that the Federal High Court where the case was pending lacked the requisite jurisdiction to hear the case based on the alleged unlawful rendition.
Meanwhile, the South East Caucus in the Senate yesterday appealed to the government to obey the Appeal Court’s ruling on Kanu.
The senators, in a joint statement, urged the government against appealing the ruling at the Supreme Court.
They asked the government to consider a political solution to solve the issue in the interest of national unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians.
“We should be mindful of our diversity and the strengths we as a country derive there from. This is the time to show magnanimity and statesmanship. The Appeal Court has provided the leeway for the authorities to walk the talk as ones desirous of preserving Nigeria’s unity and respect for her diversity.
“Not appealing the matter and resorting to political solution will in no way question the enormous powers of the federal government, rather it would enhance its prestige as a government in love with all segments of the Nigerian society.
“Accordingly, we as a Caucus and stakeholders in the Nigeria project appeal to Mr President, to remember the promise he made to a delegation of elders of Igboland sometime ago and release Nnamdi Kanu, especially now that the Appeal Court by that ruling removed the burden of interference from him. Going on appeal would ultimately negate that kind gesture,” the senators said.
The statement was signed by Senators Orji Kalu, Chukwuka Utazi, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Uche Ekwunife, Stella Oduah, Sam Egwu, Obinna Ogba, Theodore Orji, Chimaroke Nnamani, Micheal Nnachi, Onyewuchi Ezenwa, Rochas Okorocha, Frank Ibezim and Patrick Ifeanyi Uba.