*Photo: Nnamdi Kanu*
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, adjourned a N50 billion suit filed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), against the Federal Government until April 27 for further mention.
Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the matter after Aloy Ejimakor, the lawyer who appeared for Kanu, informed the court that he had just filed a notice for a change of counsel.
Ejimakor told the court that he would be taken over the case from Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who filed the suit on April 7, 2022.
Justice Ekwo directed the lawyer to find out if a similar matter was not before any sister court or other courts pending, or if a judgment had not been delivered in a similar suit.
The judge, who observed that no counsel appeared for the defendants, ordered that a hearing notice be issued and served on them against the next adjourned date.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)) reports that Kanu, had sued the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as 1st and 2nd defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/462/2022.
Kanu, who sued the defendants over allegations bordering on violation of his rights, alleged that he was kidnapped from Kenya and brought back to Nigeria to stand trial.
He wants the court to determine “whether the way and manner in which the plaintiff was abducted in Kenya and extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria is consistent with extant laws.”
Particularly, he cited “the provisions of Article 12 (4) of the African Charter on human and peoples rights (ratification and enforcement) Act Cap A9 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and Article/Part 5 (a) of the African Charter’s principles and guidelines on human and peoples’ rights while countering terrorism in Africa.”
Kanu also wants the court to determine “whether by the operation of Section 15 of the Extradition Act Cap E25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the plaintiff can be competently/legally tried for offences stated in counts 1 to 14 of the 15-count amended charge in charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 between Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”
He said the counts “are not the offences for which he was surrendered or extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria.”
In the originating summons, the IPOB leader is seeking 11 reliefs, including an order for his release from Department of State Services (DSS)’ custody.
He is also seeking an order restraining the defendants from taking any further step to prosecute him over criminal charge no: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, currently pending before a sister court presided over by Justice Binta Nyako.
Kanu also asked the court to award the sum of N100 million to him “as the cost of this action.”
But in a notice of preliminary objection dated Jun 6, 2022, but filed June 27, 2022, the FRN and AGF prayed the court to dismiss the suit, describing it as “an abuse of court process.”
Giving one ground of argument, the defendants argued that Kanu had filed an earlier suit with similar facts before a Federal High Court, Umuahia Division in suit number: FHC/UM/CS/30/2022.
They further argued that the two defendants were parties in the suit.
According to the defendants, this renders this suit as an abuse of court process that deprived the court of the jurisdiction to entertain the instant suit.(NAN)