After some six months of waiting, the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia state has fixed October 4, 2022, to hear Nnamdi Kanu’s extraordinary rendition suit which was filed before the court in March.
Aloy Ejimakor, the special counsel for Nnamdi Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) announced the date for the hearing in a statement, on Thursday.
The suit titled “Court to hear Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s extraordinary rendition case on 4th October,” Ejimakor said the suit before the court is ‘sui generis’ (of a special class).
The lawyer added that “it is primarily aimed at redressing the infamous unlawful expulsion or extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu, which is a clear violation of his fundamental rights under Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, as well as Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution.
In addition to the rendition, Kanu’s lawyer said he also sought relief from the Court to redress the myriad violations that came with the rendition, “such as the torture, the unlawful detention and the denial of the right to fair hearing which is required by law before anybody can be expelled from one country to the other. I am also seeking to halt his prosecution and restore him to the status quo before he was renditioned on 19th June 2021.”
The separatist leader has been detained by the secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) since his rendition to Nigeria from Kenya in June 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
He is currently standing trial for terrorism-related offences.
According to the statement, on January 19, 2022, “the High Court of Abia State decided that portion of violation of Kanu’s fundamental rights that occurred in 2017. Even as I had made claims that bordered on rendition, the Court declined jurisdiction on grounds that rendition, being related to extradition, lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court. This is what informed my decision to initiate the suit before the Federal High Court.”
Among the reliefs sought which the court will be considering are:
“A DECLARATION that the arrest of the applicant in Kenya by the respondents’ agents without due process of law is arbitrary, and the respondents’ enforced disappearance of the applicant for eight (8) days and their refusal to produce the applicant before a Kenyan Court for the purpose of applicant’s extradition is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the applicant’s fundamental right against arbitrary arrest, to his personal liberty and to fair hearing as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter.
“A DECLARATION that any criminal prosecution of the Applicant the purpose of which the Respondents unlawfully expelled the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right to fair hearing, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter.
“AN ORDER OF INJUNCTION restraining and prohibiting the respondents from taking any further step in any criminal prosecution of the applicant enabled by the said unlawful expulsion of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria.
“AN ORDER mandating and compelling the the Respondents to forthwith restitute or otherwise restore the applicant to his liberty, same being his state of being as of 19th June, 2021; and to thereupon repatriate the applicant to his country of lawful domicile (to wit: the United Kingdom) to await the outcome of any formal request the respondents may file before the competent authorities in Britain for the lawful extradition of the applicant to Nigeria.
” AN ORDER mandating and compelling the Respondents to issue an official Letter of Apology to the applicant for the infringement of his fundamental rights, and publication of said letter of apology in three (3) national dailies.
“AN ORDER mandating and compelling the Respondents to pay the sum of N25,000,000,000.00 (Twenty-Five Billion Naira) to the applicant, being monetary damages claimed by the applicant against the respondents jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property and other damages suffered by the applicant as a result of the infringements of applicant’s fundamental rights by the respondents.”
Ejimakor, however, expressed optimism that sooner than later, justice shall prevail for his client, Kanu.