IPOB: Core Reason Why ECOWAS Adjourn Kanu’s Case To 2017


The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has adjourned Nnamdi Kanu’s fundamental human rights case against the Federal Government till February 9 2017 for final hearing.
The presiding judge, Micah Wright, who initially adjourned the case to November 8 following an application by the defendant adjourned till February 9.
Nnamdi Kanu was not in court Tuesday; but his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, was around when the adjournment was made.
Kanu, a leader and director of Radio Biafra and Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, sued the Federal Government for alleged illegal detention.
Joined in the suit were the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Director-General of the State Security Service, SSS.
He, in the suit, is asking for a compensation of $800 million for alleged violation of his human rights and an order directing his unconditional release and release of his personal belongings.
In the suit, the plaintiff prayed the court to declare that his arrest and detention since October 14, 2015 by the defendant was in flagrant disobedience to several orders of courts of competent jurisdiction.
He also prayed the court to declare that his continued detention was a violation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter of 1970.
Nnamdi Kanu is accused, along with two others, Benjamin Madubugwu and James Nwawuisi, of treason.
He was arrested on October 14 after arriving Nigeria from the United Kingdom. His arrest triggered protests in south east states and all over the world with supporters demanding his immediate release.
While the ECOWAS court adjourned the suit, the Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja re-arraigned Nnamdi Kanu on an amended 11-count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony and publication of defamatory matter.
Kanu, along with Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, were re-arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja. They pleaded not guilty to the amended charges.
Mrs. Nyako fixed November 17 to hear the bail applications filed by counsel to all the defendants.
Mr. Nwawuisi, who is the 4the defendant, was added in the amended 11-count charge, as he had not been previously charged with the other three in the earlier six-count charge.
In the amended charge, in count one, all four defendants were accused of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, contrary to Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act.
In count three, they allegedly managed an unlawful society, while count eight borders on possession of unlawful firearms and count 11 hinges on acts of terrorism.
They allegedly committed the offences in Nigeria and London between 2014 and 2015.
The counsel to the defendants, Chucks Muoma, Inalegwu Adoga, E. I. Esene and Maxwel Okpara complained to the judge that the prosecution was bent on frustrating the case by employing unnecessary delay tactics.
But Nyako said that since the case was before her for the first time, she was not interested in what had happened in the past.
“The case is coming before me for the first time so let us start on a clean slate, forget what happened previously,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Nyako would be the third judge handling the case against the IPOB leader.
The first judge that handled Nnamdi Kanu’s matter was Shuiabu Usman of Wuse Zone 2, Magistrates’ Court, Abuja.
Usman quashed all the charges against Kanu after the prosecutor, the SSS, filed a motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter.
The case was later filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja, where it was assigned to Justice Adeniyi Ademola.
Kanu, however, during one of sittings, told the court that he was no longer confident in the court saying he got information that he would not receive a fair hearing.
The case file was then returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Ibrahim Auta, who reassigned it to Justice John Tsoho.
However, following an alleged conflicting ruling giving on the issue of secret trial in favour of the SSS, Kanu in a petition asked the National Judicial Council, NJC, to investigate Mr. Tsoho.
He also filed an application asking the judge to disqualify himself from the matter.
Tsoho then handed off the matter on September 26 and sent the case file back to Auta, who reassigned it to Nyako.

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