Nnamdi Kanu fails to regain freedom at Supreme Court, to face terrorism trial

IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu in court.

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to order the release of the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu from detention.

The Supreme Court in a judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim but written by Justice Garba Lawal voided and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal which in October last year ordered the release of Kanu and also quashed the terrorism charges against him.

Supreme Court held that although the Nigerian Government was reckless and unlawfully rendered Kanu from Kenya, such an unlawful act has not divested any Court from proceeding with trial.

Justice Lawal said that while no Nigerian law was cited in the suit seeking Kanu’s release on mere unlawful abduction from Kenya adding that at the moment, the remedy for such action is for Kanu to file a Civil matter against such act instead of removing the powers of courts to continue with his trial for alleged criminal charges.

The Apex Court subsequently ordered that Kanu should go and defend himself in the remaining 7 counts terrorism charges against him.

Kanu was arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on a four-count charge of treasonable felony, conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, terrorism, illegal importation of radio equipment, and defamation of former President Muhammadu Buhari

The Nigerian government later amended the charges to a 15-count charge on terrorism and membership of a proscribed group.

Justice Nyako in her ruling dismissed 8 out of the 15 count charges, saying that Kanu had questions to answer in the remaining 7 charges

Dissatisfied with the ruling, Kanu appealed to the court of appeal which dismissed the remaining charges and ordered that Mr Kanu be released.

The court then granted a stay of execution of its judgment after the federal government had told the court it would appeal at the Supreme Court.

Kanu was challenging the stay of execution granted by the court of appeal, which halted his release while the government challenged the judgment of the appellate court to dismiss the remaining charges against the IPOB leader.