FG Refuses To Free Nnamdi Kanu, Says IPOB Leader Not Acquitted
Nnamdi Kanu was cleared of all 15 charges by the Appeal Court in Abuja.
The Nigerian government has countered reports that said the leader of IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra), Nnamdi Kanu, has been acquitted. Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made the revelation via a statement signed by his spokesperson, Umar Jibril Gwandu.
Reports made the rounds on Thursday, October 13, 2022, that Nnamdi Kanu has been discharged and acquitted by the Appeal Court, but the statement noted that the secessionist has only been discharged, not acquitted.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has received the news of the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the trial of Nnamdi Kanu…For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the Court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted.’’
The statement further disclosed that the government would explore every legal option available to win the case.
“Consequently, the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public. The decision handed down by the court of appeal was on a single issues that borders on rendition. Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predates rendition on the basis of which Kanu jumped bail remain valid issues for judicial determination. The Federal Government will consider all available options open to us on the judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues.”
Until Thursday’s judgement, Kanu was being prosecuted by the federal government for a 15-count charge bordering on terrorism and treasonable felony. The Appeal Court dismissed the charges on Thursday, and noted that the Federal High Court in Abuja lacked the jurisdiction to handle the IPOB leader’s case owing to his abduction and extraordinary rendition to Nigeria which goes against the extradition protocol of the African Union (AU).
Also, the Appeal Court ruled that the government’s 15-count charge against Kanu did not disclose the place, date, time and nature of the alleged crimes committed before his unlawful extradition to the country.