· Orders Fed govt to pay him N1.b, as Abuja Court adjourns case to Fed 16
As residents of the South East observe three 3-day sit at home ordered by the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a High Court sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital presided over by Justice Benson Anya has ruled that the invasion of the residence of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in 2017 by security agents as well as his arrest/abduction and forceful return to Nigeria were unlawful and infringement on his human rights under local and international laws.
Sitting at Umuahia on Wednesday January 19, the judge ruled that the federal government should pay Kanu the sum of one billion naira as compensation for the infringement and violation of his fundamental human rights.
It would be recalled that, “Kanu’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor filed the lawsuit against the Nigerian government on August 27, 2021 before the Abia High Court.
It was earlier reported that the judge rejected the challenge by the Nigerian government on the jurisdiction to hear Kanu’s case.
Ejimakor had argued that Kanu could not be tried in Nigeria as there was no crime he had committed known to both Nigerian and international laws.
He had added that the government of Nigeria collaborated with Kenya to abduct and bring him to Nigeria.”
“The invasion of the Applicants residence at Isiama Afara Ibeku is in the public and the court has taken judicial notice, there are conflicts between the Applicant’s affidavit and that of the respondents.
“Ordinarily the law requires oral evidence to be called to resolve the conflicts but where the evidence is so overwhelming, the court can base on the documents before it is resolve the conflicts. There is heavy evidence accompanying the affidavit of the Applicant which the respondents do not have any tangible refutation to.
“This honorable court therefore holds that the violent infraction of the Applicant’s residence on the 10th day of September 2017 is an infraction of his fundamental rights.
He deserves the apology as prayed. The law is that damages flows from the wrongs suffered in a fundamental rights action. Having in mind the low value of the Naira, I hereby award damage in the sum of 1 Billion Naira in Favour Of the Applicant.”
At an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Binta Nyako, Kanu, who was brought into the courtroom around 10:15am, said he was innocent of all the allegations the Federal levelled against him, even as he complained from the dock that some counts in the amended charge were similar.
Meanwhile, immediately the embattled IPOB leader finished taking his plea, the Prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, told the court that he was ready to proceed with the trial, adding that he brought two witnesses to testify against the Defendant.
“We also have a motion requesting the court to grant bail to the Defendant”, Ozekhome added.
On his part, FG’s lawyer, Labaran, argued that Kanu’s two applications were not ripe for hearing, stressing that he would require time to go through them so as to be able to respond.”
“In essence, business of the day cannot be allowed to be truncated by these applications”, he argued.
In a brief ruling, Justice Nyako noted that since Kanu’s first application is challenging the propriety of his trial as well as competence of the charge against him, the court ought to hear it first.”
“As for the second motion (on the issue of bail), I don’t even want to talk about it, at least not at this stage”, Justice Nyako held.
The court subsequently adjourned till February 16 to hear the pending application.”