Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Court Verdict Discharging and Acquitting Nnamdi Kanu


The Supreme Court has dismissed the judgment of the Court of Appeal which  discharged and acquitted the embattled Leader of the Independent State of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

The Alex court ruled that the detained IPOB leader had a case to answer.

A five-member panel of the Court led by Kudirat Kekere-Ekun declared on Friday that Mr Kanu’s forcible repatriation from Kenya to Nigeria is illegal but held that it does not discontinue the trial.

However, the court, in the lead judgement by Justice Emmanuel Agim, ruled that there is no Nigerian law that prohibits the use of “illegally obtained evidence for the trial of a defendant.”

Meanwhile, following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Nnamdi Kanu’s trial on terrorism charges, his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, has vowed to immediately seek bail for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Kanu’s legal team had high expectations that the Supreme Court would affirm the Court of Appeal’s October 2022 ruling discharging and acquitting him. 

However, the apex court overturned that decision, arguing that while Kanu’s extradition from Kenya was unlawful, it did not prevent his trial from proceeding.

“We shall proceed with apace bail application to reinstate his bail in line with the ruling of the Supreme Court,” Ejimakor said to reporters, expressing his disappointment with the verdict.

The Supreme Court’s judgment, delivered by Justice Garba Lawal, stated that no Nigerian law prohibits trying a defendant despite an unlawful extradition. Lawal argued that Kanu could pursue a separate civil case regarding his rendition but that it did not impede his ongoing trial.

Kanu is accused by the Nigerian government of terrorism and inciting violence.

Ejimakor, Kanu’s Special Counsel, further criticised the Supreme Court’s stance on the extraordinary rendition, arguing it undermines the principle of fair hearing.

“The Supreme Court justified its position on the theory that our jurisprudence has not developed to the point of recognising extraordinary rendition as a barrier to prosecution. That is so wrong,” he said, accusing the court of implying that Nigerian law is “primitive” and “retrograde.”


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