From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Counsel to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has called on the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, (AGF), Abubakar Malami, SAN, to comply with the order of the Court of Appeal and resign voluntarily for exposing the Federal Government to international embarrassment and ridicule.
Ifeanyi Ejiofor who was reacting to the position of the AGF on the decision of the appellate court said
the order made by the Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal is sacrosanct and must be obeyed immediately without further ado.
Malami had said that the Federal Government was considering the options, including proceeding only with the pending counts against Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before the invasion of his house on September 14, 2017.
However, Ejiofor explained that the reference by the AGF to the charge pending against Kanu before he left Nigeria in 2017 and the indication that the Federal Government may continue with the charge showed Malami’s total disconnect with the law, with the greatest respect to his office.
While employing the AGF to be properly guided in law, Ejiofor said, “I implore him to meticulously read the full judgment of the Court of Appeal, immediately comply with orders made therein and possibly consider the most appropriate option of voluntarily resigning, for exposing the Federal Government to this international embarrassment and ridicule.
“Now, for the avoidance of doubt, the Federal Government has no options. It has only one option, namely, to appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court. And the exercise of this later option shall not constitute a bar to immediate compliance with the order of the Court of Appeal, which directed for the immediate and unconditional release of Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“Further, the Attorney General of the Federation reference to the charge pending against Onyendu before he left Nigeria in 2017, and the indication that the Federal Government may continue with the charge really shows his total disconnect with the law, with greatest respect to his office.
“It is to be noted that the remaining seven charges that was struck out by the Court of Appeal after it allowed the appeal on the ground that the Federal High Court has no jurisdiction to try onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is the same charge(with the same charge Number – to wit: FRN vs Nnamdi Kanu, Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, that has been pending against Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at the Federal High Court since 2015.
“The prosecution has amended this charge about 7 times. It is the same charge that was amended to include other counts that brought the counts to seven and then to 15. The Federal High Court struck out eight counts and retained seven.
“On appeal, the Court of Appeal struck out the whole charge and held that the lower court had no jurisdiction to try Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. That being so, that charge that has been pending against MNK since 2015 and containing counts of alleged offences committed by him before he escaped from being killed in Nigeria in 2017 no longer exists. It has been struck out.
“There is therefore no existing charge on the basis of which the Federal High Court can proceed and try Onyendu. Accordingly, as it stands today, there is no criminal charge pending against Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“The declaration by the Court of Appeal that the Federal High Court has no jurisdiction to try Onyendu MAZI Nnamdi Kanu because of the illegality of his abduction and extraordinary rendition to Nigeria is an all pervading instrumentality that effectively bars any indictment of Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in any court in Nigeria.
“As his forceful abduction in Kenya and rendition to Nigeria violates all known international conventions and protocols to which Nigeria is a state party, no prosecution against him in Nigeria can ever be undertaken. This is because a cause of action cannot arise from a base ground- Ex turpi causa non oritur actio.”