2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
IPOB: Abia court judgment’ll facilitate Kanu’s release –Lawyer
The court, in a fundamental rights suit brought by Kanu’s lawyers, held that the IPOB leader did not voluntarily choose to be absent from his trial, but that he was forced to flee the country because his fundamental rights to dignity of the human person and personal liberty were wantonly violated by agents of the Nigerian government.
Ejimakor in a statement, yesterday, said: “This landmark judgment has created new legal opportunities for Kanu, especially as regards impeaching the bench warrant that grandfathered his extraordinary rendition. You will recall that from late 2017, I had maintained a well-publicised stance that Kanu never jumped bail and that he will, in due course of time, prove it was the Nigerian government that compelled him to flee and seek refuge outside Nigeria.
“This was the material issue before the court and it prevailed. The court held that Kanu never made a voluntary decision to flee Nigeria or to be absent from his trial. To this extent, this judgment has finally obliterated the vested and false notion that Kanu had jumped bail back in 2017.”
The Abuja Division of Federal High Court presided over by Justice Binta Nyako, in March 2019, revoked the bail earlier granted Kanu in April 2017 and directed a bench warrant should be issued for Kanu’s arrest after he failed to appear in court.
Ejimakor, however, said the latest judgment of the Abia High Court has answered questions on the circumstances under which Kanu fled the country to seek refuge abroad.
Ejimakor also said the judgment has punctured the Federal Government’s claims and reasons adduced for Kanu’s extradition from Kenya
“Kanu has by credible evidence proved to the court that his fundamental rights to dignity of the human person and personal liberty were wantonly or brazenly violated and his fundamental right to life threatened brazenly by Federal Republic of Nigeria. The bench warrant upon which his rendition from Kenya was grounded has now become impeachable and liable to be vacated, thus paving the way for his previous bail to be reinstated,” he said.
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