The Federal Government of Nigeria has filed an appeal on seven grounds against the October 13 Court of Appeal judgment which had discharged the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Nigerian Government also urged the Supreme Court to set aside the Appeal court judgment and restore the charge against the respondent to be tried at the trial court.
In a motion on notice in support of the appeal, the government is also seeking a stay of execution of the judgment of the court presided over by Justice Jummai Sankey, pending the hearing and final determination of its appeal, saying that previous indicates that the IPOB leader posed a flight risk.
The notice of appeal obtained by Africa Daily News, New York was dated October 18 was signed by the Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mohammed Abubakar, Assistant Chief State Counsel, D. Kaswe and A. Aluko and Senior State Counsel, G. Nweze, Department of Public Prosecution, Federal Ministry of Justice.
The appellant averred that the appellate court erred in law when it held that the trial court had no jurisdiction to try Kanu because of “the extraordinary rendition of the respondent.”
It stated, ‘There was no evidence led by the respondent before the court of the first instance and indeed before the court below to show how he was allegedly abducted and rendered to Nigeria as required by Section 139 of the Evidence Act, 2011 since he alleged that he was abducted without following due process of law.’
The appellant also contended that the court below erred when it held that the executive arm must not be allowed to benefit from the abduction of the respondent “when in fact and by its judgment, the respondent was allowed to benefit from his illegality of disobeying the orders of the court when he jumped bail and was rewarded with a discharge from the charges pending against him at the trial court thereby occasioning a miscarriage of justice against the state and the victims of the crimes perpetrated by the respondent.”
The government claimed that the appeal court was wrong by saying that how Kanu was brought back to the country can vitiate and indeed weaken the criminal charges of treason, treasonable felony and terrorism brought against him.
It added that the lower court made that decision without taking into account the fact that the nature of the “entry’’ of the respondent is not relevant in the determination of the charges against him.
The appellant further stated that the appeal court justices failed to be bound by established judicial precedent on the mode of “entry” of a defendant charged with the commission of an offence established by the Supreme Court.
The appeal court, the FG noted, misdirected itself when it relied heavily on the Organisation of African Unions Conventions on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and cases decided from foreign jurisdictions as against the substantive law covering the criminal procedure in Nigeria.
‘The court below overlooked the submissions of the appellant with regards to the ACJA, 2015 which takes its taproot from the grundnorm Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to the effect that it is the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 that governs the trial of every Nigerian charged with the commission of a crime, this failure occasioned the miscarriage of justice,’ the appeal notice read.
The FG further argued that the court below erred in law when it discharged the respondent of the offences mentioned in counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15 bordering on terrorism offences contained in the amended charge dated January 14, 2022, and retained by the trial court for want of jurisdiction.
The appeal observed that the appellate court was completely silent and closed its eyes to the obvious fact of the issues which predate the rendition of the respondent because he was standing trial for conspiracy, and treasonable felony terrorism before his escape.