Home News Federal Republic of Nigeria versus Mazi Nnamdi Kanu: A TRIAL BY ORDEAL?

Federal Republic of Nigeria versus Mazi Nnamdi Kanu: A TRIAL BY ORDEAL?

A SPECIAL PUBLICATION BY VERBATIM MAGAZINE ON MAZI NNAMDI KANU"S NINE YEARS OF LEGAL BATTLE FOR FREEDOM TROUGH NIGERIAN COURTS NOW IN CIRCULATION THROUGH NEWSTANDS AND ONLINE PLATFORMS

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A SPECIAL PUBLICATION BY VERBATIM MAGAZINE ON MAZI NNAMDI KANU"S NINE YEARS OF LEGAL BATTLE FOR FREEDOM TROUGH NIGERIAN COURTS NOW IN CIRCULATION THROUGH NEWSTANDS AND ONLINE PLATFORMS

This submission is a dispassionate summary of the grueling case of “Federal Republic of Nigeria versus Mazi Nnamdi Kanu”. The submission is divided into nine parts, comprising of the inception of the case in late 2015 to the present time of April 2024.

PART 1:

The case began in earnest on October 14, 2015 when Nnamdi Kanu was first arrested in Lagos, Nigeria, few days after his arrival from his base in London, United Kingdom. He was subsequently charged with offenses relating to his broadcasts on Radio Biafra from its location in London, which basically comprised of demanding a referendum on the creation of a separate State of Biafra. The offenses charged were four and they were: treasonable felony, conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, illegal importation or concealment of radio broadcasting equipment and defamation of the then President of Nigeria, Mohamadu Buhari.

During the course of his pre-trial detention, Nnamdi Kanu was granted bail twice by two different Courts but the Government of Nigeria disobeyed or otherwise unlawfully parried the court orders and continued to detain him, extrajudicially. Part of the strategy of the Federal government was to either entirely withdraw all extant charges and file new ones or amend some of the extant charges, thus necessitating new arraignments and triggering new motions, adjournments, warts and all.

Such was the case on 16th December 2016 when the Federal government withdrew all charges filed against Kanu before Abuja Chief Magistrate Shauibu Usman, leading to the charges being dismissed and Kanu being thereby discharged. It will be recalled that these same dismissed charges, bordering mostly on membership of IPOB and treasonable felony, later showed up in the Federal High Court. Even though not litigated at the time, this evident constitutional anomaly most likely offended the doctrine of double jeopardy which may, as yet, crop up to torpedo Kanu’s trial, if push comes to shove.

Beyond continuing to detain Kanu in disobedience of court orders to the contrary, the federal government also did the unthinkable by arresting Justice Adeniyi Ademola who had ordered unconditional release of Kanu. According to several newspapers reports of 15th October 2016, Justice Ademola had said that: “From the time of my arrival at the DSS office, at about 6:45am on 8/10/2016, I was not told what my crime was for over 24 hours till the evening of 9/10/2016. A DSS officially finally informed me that the search of my arrest were based on these three allegations; petition of Hon. Jenkins Duvie dated 4th of April 2016 to the National Judicial Council (NJC); granting bail to Col. Sambo Dasuki and the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu …”. This was perhaps one of the earliest telltale signs that Kanu was in for a very rough ride with the darkest side of the Nigerian justice system.

In the course of time and after eighteen long months in horrid detention without trial, Kanu was released on the latest of the series of bails granted by the Federal High Court. At the time, there was this credible notion that Kanu was freed only because the Federal Government had succumbed to the latest order of bail due to significant pressure from prominent Igbos, other highly placed Nigerians and elements of the international community. Nonetheless, it was felt by many that the bail conditions were excessive.

Consequently, Kanu proceeded to his ancestral home in Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North LGA, Abia State, where he stayed at his father’s royal palace and awaited his next court date scheduled for October 17, 2017.

For someone enjoying his bail and awaiting his next Court date, it therefore came as a deadly surprise that, starting from 10th September 2017, the Nigerian Army commenced an epic military invasion of Kanu’s residential building and premises at the said Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North LGA, Abia State.

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A SPECIAL PUBLICATION BY VERBATIM MAGAZINE ON MAZI NNAMDI KANU”S NINE YEARS OF LEGAL BATTLE FOR FREEDOM TROUGH NIGERIAN COURTS NOW IN CIRCULATION THROUGH NEWSTANDS AND ONLINE PLATFORMS

Verbatim Mag April May 2024 Edition

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