All eyes are on the Supreme Court today, as the apex court hears the appeal filed by the Federal Government to set aside the Appeal Court judgment on the treasonable felony trial that freed Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Federal Government had issued a ‘Notice of Appeal and Motion for Stay of Execution’ to the judgment of the Court of Appeal freeing the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Federal Government, in the notice of appeal it hinged on seven grounds, wants the apex court to stay the execution of the judgment the appellate court delivered on October 13.
It is, among other things, arguing that the Appeal Court panel of three justices erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it relied on the manner Kanu was renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria to quash the entire charges against him after he jumped bail a trial court granted to him in 2017.
Government also maintained that the appellate court acted in error by striking out the charge against the IPOB leader on the premise that the trial judge no longer had the jurisdiction to handle the matter.
The Federal Government is, therefore, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, praying the apex court to in the interim, suspend the execution of the Court of Appeal verdict, pending the hearing and determination of its appeal.
Recall that the appellate court had in a unanimous judgment accused FG of flagrantly violating all known laws in the way it forcefully rendered Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial.
It held that such extraordinary rendition, without adherence to due process of the law, was a gross violation of all international conventions, treaties, protocols and guidelines that Nigeria is signatory to, as well as a breach of the appellant’s fundamental human rights.
The appellate court held that FG’s action tainted the entire proceeding it initiated against Kanu and amounted to an abuse of criminal prosecution.
“The court will never shy away from calling the Executive to order when it tilts towards Executive recklessness,” the appellate court held, even as it accused FG of engaging in “serious abuse of power.”
The outcome of the apex court’s hearing on the matter will determine what direction the protracted trial of the IPOB leader is going since he was apprehended in October 2015 in a Lagos hotel after he flew into the country from his base in United Kingdom, where he is a Director of Radio Biafra.
Despite representations and pleas by rights groups and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to government to exploit the appellate court ruling as a window for political solution to the IPOB secessionist agitations, FG last week filed its appeal at the apex court.