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    Nnamdi Kanu: 3 Justices on Appeal Court panel transferred

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    ….as Supreme Court hears Federal Government’s appeal today

    By Admin

    The three Justices of the Court of Appeal, who sat on the panel that quashed the 15-count terrorism charge filed by the Federal Government against the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, have been transferred from their various divisions.

    Report by southeastpost.com has it that the three appellate court justices were transferred, four days after discharging Kanu. 

    In what was clearly appeared to be punitive transfers, the presiding Justice, Jummai Hanatu Sankey, who was hitherto in the Gombe Division of the court, was moved to Awka Division, while Justice Oludotun Adetope-Okojie who delivered the lead judgement, was transferred to Owerri, just as the third member of the panel, Justice Ebiowei Tobi, was transferred to Gombe.

    A memo dated October 17, 2022, signed by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, stressed that the new posting for the justices was with immediate effect as they were expected to report at their new stations by October 21, 2022.

    The transfers are coming against the backdrop of the decision by the Supreme Court to hear the appeal against the Appeal Court’s decision, by the Federal Government, today, Monday, October 24, 2022. 

    The Federal Government filed the appeal to stet aside the judgement that freed Kanu.

    In the notice of appeal the government,  hinged it’s decision to appeal the judgement on seven grounds, asking the apex court to stay the execution of the judgement delivered on October 13.

    Among other things, the government is contending that the Appeal Court’s panel erred in law and caused a miscarriage of justice when it relied on the manner Kanu was renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria after jumping bail the lower court granted him in 2017, to quash the entire charge against the IPOB leader. 

    The Federal Government noted that the
    appellate court acted in error by striking out the charge against Kanu on the premise that the lower court no longer had the jurisdiction to handle the matter.

    The government in the appeal filed by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, is 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.

    A three- man panel of the Court of Appeal, he had in a unanimous judgement, accused the Federal Government of flagrantly violating all known laws in the way it forcefully renditioned Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria for the continuation of his trial, pointing out that such extraordinary rendition, without adherence to due process of the law, was a gross violation of all international conventions, treaties, protocols and guidelines which the country was signatory to, as well as a breach of the Appellant’s fundamental human rights.

    The appellate court further ruled that the Federal Government failed to refute the allegation that the IPOB leader was in Kenya and that he was abducted and brought back to the country without any extradition proceedings.

    The appellate court further stated that the Federal Government was “ominously silent on the issue,” which it described as very pivotal in determining whether the trial court still had the jurisdiction to continue with the criminal proceeding before it, pointing out that the government’s 
    action tainted the entire proceeding initiated against Kanu as it amounted to “an abuse of criminal prosecution in general.”

    “The court will never shy away from calling the Executive to order when it tilts towards Executive recklessness,” the appellate court also, noted, while accusing the Federal Government further of engaging in “serious abuse of power.”

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