The Abia State High court of Justice has again, adjourned the hearing of a human rights infringement case instituted by Aloy Ejimakor, lawyer to the detained leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, against the Nigerian government.
Justice K. C. J. Okereke has adjourned the hearing of the motion till October 7 as the respondents have yet to file their responses to the suit.
Ejimakor, in an application, Nnamdi Kanu Vs Federal Government of Nigeria and seven others, brought an ex parte order asking the court to, among other things, make an interim order of release of Kanu to attend to his health in any medical facility of his choice in Nigeria, pending the hearing of the motion.
The lawyer also asked for the substitution service on the motion on notice of third and fourth respondents.
However, the high court presided over by Justice K. C. J. Okereke had refused the application and asked the lawyer to put the respondents on notice.
He granted the application for substituted service on third, fifth, and seventh respondents and adjourned till September 21 for a hearing of the motion on notice.
The suit was filed by Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, in Umuahia, the Abia State capital before a state High Court on September 7, to press for Kanu’s release to get adequate medical treatments among other rights entitled to him.
While Kanu is the applicant, there are eight respondents which are; the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney-General of the Federation, the Chief of the Army Staff, the Brigade Commander, 14 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Ohafia, Abia State, the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner for Police, Abia State, the Director-General, State Security Services and the Abia State Director, State Security Services.
In an elaborate statement released later that day, Ejimakor had said, “Today, I secured an Order from the High Court of Abia State to serve by substituted means an Application for enforcement of the Fundamental Rights of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, which I recently brought before the High Court of Abia State.
“The next hearing date is set for 21st September, 2021 in Umuahia. The material issue is the unbroken chain of infringements that began with the 2017 extrajudicial attempt on Kanu’s life in Abia State; his involuntary flight to safety/exile; his abduction in Kenya and his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria.
“We believe that these supervening issues have complicated Kanu’s prosecution and thus must be judicially dispensed with before any further prosecutorial action can proceed. Accordingly, I have placed the following reliefs before the Court:
“1, A DECLARATION that the military invasion of the Applicant’s building and premises at Isiama, Afaraukwu Ibeku, Abia State on 10th September, 2017 by the Respondents or their agents is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the Applicant's fundamental right to life, dignity of his person, his personal liberty and fair hearing as guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of Chapter IV of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (hereafter, CFRN) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (hereafter, the Charter).
“2, A DECLARATION that the arrest of the Applicant in Kenya by the Respondents or their agents without due process of law is arbitrary, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts 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.
“3, A DECLARATION that the torture and detention of the Applicant in Kenya by the Respondents or their agents is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant's fundamental right against torture and to fair hearing, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter).
“4, A DECLARATION that the expulsion of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria by the Respondents or their agents and their consequent detention and planned prosecution of the Applicant in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 (Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Nnamdi Kanu) is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the Applicant's fundamental right against unlawful expulsion and detention, and to fair hearing, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter).
“5, AN ORDER OF INJUNCTION restraining the Respondents or their agents from taking any further step in the prosecution of the Applicant in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 (Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Nnamdi Kanu) pursuant to said unlawful expulsion of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria.
“6, AN ORDER mandating and compelling the the Respondents or their agents to forthwith release the Applicant from detention and restitute or otherwise restore 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 domicile (to wit: Britain) 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 to continue his prosecution in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 (Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Nnamdi Kanu).
“7, 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.
“8, AN ORDER mandating and compelling the Respondents to pay the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (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 and other damages suffered by the Applicant as a result of the infringements of Applicant’s fundamental rights.”
According to the copy of the suit obtained by SaharaReporters, Ejimakor, had in a statement in support of the affidavit, had noted in his conclusion that the court should bar the Nigerian government from further prosecuting Kanu.
“In conclusion, we submit that there is an overriding need for his honourable court to bar the respondents from any further detention and prosecution of the applicant in charge Number, FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 followed by the immediate restoration of applicant to the liberty he enjoyed as of the date he was unlawfully and arbitrarily arrested. We therefore urge this honourable court to resolve the lone issue in favour of the applicant and to grant the prayers sought,” Ejimakor said.