Aloy Ejimakor, Special Counsel to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, said the Kenyan Government had filed a document in court to show that there was no immigration record of Kanu’s departure from Kenya after his arrival to the country on May 12, 2021.
Ejimakor spoke as the entire southeast was deserted yesterday as people remained in their homes, in solidarity with Kanu’s appearance in court, thus crippling commercial activities.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has however fixed April 8 to rule on an application the detained leader of IPOB filed to quash the 15-count treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him.
No immigration record of Kanu’s departure from Kenya —Kenyan govt
A release jointly issued by Ejimakor; and the IPOB Leader’s brother, Kanunta Kanu, argued that the position of the Kenyan Government had made the circumstances under which Kanu “disappeared” from Kenya a more grievous offence, claiming that serious consequences await all those involved in the action.
In the latest Affidavit filed by the Kenyan government in defence of the suit filed by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Kenya, it asserted that there was no immigration record of Kanu’s departure from Kenya after his last arrival on 12th May 2021.
The release made available to Vanguard read in part: “In the Affidavit “drawn up and filed” by the Attorney-General of Kenya and deposed to in Nairobi, Kenya on 10th February 2022, the Government of Kenya attached Kanu’s arrival and departure record from Kenya from 17th July 2019 to 12th May 2022 when he last entered Kenya.
“Paragraph 12 of the Affidavit stated “That it is evident from the schedule below that since 17/7/2019, the said Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Kenny Okwu-Kanu has visited and departed Kenya on several occasions.
“Paragraph 13 of the Affidavit states “That from the above travel history, it is evident that his last arrival date was 12/5/2021 and there is no evidence exhibited to prove that he thereafter left the country.
“Paragraph 14 of the Affidavit stated, “That I am not privy to his (Kanu’s) arrest, detention or extradition”.
Kanu’s lawyers argued that: “It is pertinent to note that this Affidavit, having been “drawn up and filed” by the Attorney-General of Kenya is the clearest official confirmation yet from the government of Kenya that what happened to Nnamdi Kanu in Kenya amounts to crime, both in Nigeria, Kenya and under international law.
“With this latest development, Kanu’s ordeal in Kenya has turned a new corner where domestic and international criminal indictments will lie against the persons that directly or indirectly participated in this high crime. It has gone beyond extraordinary rendition.”
Kanu’s appearance crippled S-East
It has since become a norm for people to remain indoors any day the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu would appear in court over charges preferred against him by the federal government.
Unlike Monday sit-at-home which had gradually died down, there was virtually no movement in any part of the zone yesterday.
Schools, markets, banks, shopping malls and private offices were closed, just as roadside shops were shut.
The Enugu -Onitsha expressway was without the usual traffic as transporters were off the road.
Some people who clustered in front of their houses were heard asking if anyone had received information about Kanu’s court case, just as many were debating on the issue of Biafra agitation.
From Anambra to Abia, to Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo, banks, schools, markets and shops were shut down in honour of the detained Nnamdi Kanu.
IPOB had announced that a sit-at-home would be observed in South East every day Kanu was to be brought to court.
Our correspondents who moved around the zone observed that the cities were without life.
Vehicular and pedestrian movements recorded about 30 per cent as against what it used to be.
Residents completely obeyed the sit-at-home order in solidarity with Wednesday’s court case in Abuja, of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
In Owerri, some of the streets visited by Vanguard include Wethedral, Douglas, Owerri-Port-Harcourt, Owerri-Onitsha and Owerri-Aba roads.
In the streets of Mbari, Okigwe, Mbaise roads, the situation was not different from the areas of Tetlow, Egbu, Dick tiger, MCC/Uratta, IMSU roundabout, Akwakuma, Amakohia, Spibat, Orji streets among others.
Banks, shops, major markets of Ekeukwu, Relief markets shut down in solidarity with the IPOB leader. Schools, Restaurants, entries, supermarkets and fuel stations were all shut down.
The situation was even more serious in the Okigwe and Orlu axis, due to the level of killings and insecurity that have been witnessed in these areas for almost a year.
Kanu knows fate April 8, as court adjourns for ruling
Kanu, in the application he filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, maintained that the charge against him was legally defective.
He argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to try him on the strength of an incompetent charge.
Ozekhome, told the court that his client was “unlawfully, brutally and extraordinarily renditioned from Kenya without his consent”.
He argued that since some of the allegations FG levelled against Kanu, were purportedly committed outside the country and the high court, therefore, lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the charge.
“The charges appear to give this court a global jurisdiction over offences that were allegedly committed by the Defendant, without specifying the location or date the said offences were committed”.
He argued that under the Federal High Court Act, such a charge must disclose a specific location where the offence was committed.
More so, Ozekhome contended that Kanu could not be charged with belonging to an unlawful organization since the action of FG, in proscribing the IPOB, is still subject to legal dispute at the Court of Appeal and therefore subjudice.
Consequently, Ozekhome urged the court to dismiss the charge, as well as to discharge and acquit the Defendant of the entire 15-count charge pending against him.
“This case is hollow, there is nothing in it. It is dead on arrival. Elements constituting the offence must occur within the jurisdiction of this court”, he argued.
However, FG’s lawyer, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, prayed the court to strike out Kanu’s application and order the Prosecution to open its defence.
He argued that the application would touch the substance of the case that is yet to be heard.
“The position as at now is that the IPOB is a proscribed organization which was duly proscribed through the due process of law”.
He argued that Section 32 of the Terrorism Prevention Act imbued the court with the requisite jurisdiction to handle the trial.
Meanwhile, earlier in the proceedings, Ozekhome, SAN, raised the alarm that his client’s eyesight has deteriorated.
He told the court that Kanu, who is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, may go blind if nothing was urgently done to restore his sight.
The senior lawyer, who recently took over Kanu’s defence team, decried that his client’s eyeglass was confiscated in 2015, when he was initially arrested by DSS operatives, following his return to Nigeria from the United Kingdom.
He told the court that a new eyeglass the IPOB leader bought, was also seized from him during his extraordinary rendition from Kenya.
Ozekhome bemoaned that despite an express order of the court, the DSS declined to allow the IPOB to have a change of clothing.
He alleged that the security agency refused to allow Kanu to receive new clothes that were brought to him by his younger brother, Emmanuel.
Shortly before the matter was adjourned, Justice Nyako, summoned the Director of Legal Services at the DSS to explain why Kanu was denied access to new clothes and his eyeglasses.
Addressing the court, the DSS official explained that the clothes were rejected because it contained an insignia associated with the IPOB.
He told the court that clothes that were brought for Kanu in detention, had Lion’s Head emblazoned on them.