Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, the Special Counsel to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has said that the position of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) that the Thursday’s judgement of the Court of Appeal only discharged Kanu, but did not acquit him is, “flatly wrong and it is perverse to boot”.
The appellate court, had, in a judgement held that, the “Federal Government flagrantly violated the law when it forcefully renditioned Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial and that such extra-ordinary rendition, without adherence to due process of the law, was a gross violation of all international conventions, protocols and guidelines that Nigeria is a signatory to, as well as a breach of the Appellant’s fundamental human rights.”
But, Malami in a statement through his media aide, Dr Umar Gwandu said the judgement did not acquit Kanu as it only dealt with Kanu’s extraordinary rendition charge.
Ejimakor, in a reaction, stated that “If the Federal Government refuses or stalls on releasing Kanu solely because it desires to levy further or new charges, it will amount to a burgeoning holding charge which is impermissible in our jurisprudence.
“Further, no new charges can stick against Kanu because, in the present circumstance, the extraordinary rendition is an abiding factor that has created a permanent barrier to his prosecution.
“Keep in mind that the extant trial of Kanu could never have proceeded had he not been illegally renditioned. So, it is not legally possible to lose jurisdiction in the extant charges and at once obtain jurisdiction in the next round of charges.
“The judgment of the Court of Appeal has therefore grandfathered a continuing lack of prosecutorial jurisdiction that will, in the interim, be very hard to overcome”, he said in the statement made available to Saturday Tribune.
He added that, before the levying of any new charges can have a toga of legality or chances of conferring prosecutorial jurisdiction, Kanu has to be released first, as anything to the contrary will be nugatory.
The IPOB leader has been detained in the custody of the DSS since last year after being forcefully brought into Nigeria from Kenya without following international rules.