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Nnamdi Kanu: Counsel approaches court again, demands restoration of original bail conditions



Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

Aloy Ejimakor, Esq., the Counsel of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has once again approached the Federal High Court of Nigeria in Abuja, seeking the restoration of the original bail condition of his client.

It could be recalled that Mazi Kanu, the Biafran independence agitator, has been in detention at the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS), for some two years.

It could also be recalled that Kanu had demanded, up to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, that the charges against him be quashed, to no avail.

His Counsel had challenged the jurisdiction of the Court to try the case pertaining to his bail and extraordinary rendition.

The case at the Supreme Court, file number: SC/CR/1361/2022, was between Nigerian Government, Complainant/ Respondent, and Nnamdi Kanu, Defendant/Applicant.

Therein, the Lordships determined that Applicant’s bail ought not to have been revoked in the first place.

They held that it was the invasion of Kanu’s home that caused him to flee in order to secure his life and physical well-being.

However, the Supreme Court had ordered his trial, insisting that he be tried for treason.

Also, efforts by his team of lawyer to secure a bail for Nnamdi Kanu have, so far, proved abortive.

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In the latest effort with charge no: FHC/ABJ/CR1383/2015, his lawyers brought before the court a Motion on Notice for Restoration of Bail.

The motion was brought pursuant to Sections 287. 318. 6 (6) and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 1999 (as amended) and section 169 of the administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

The Learned Counsel prayed the Honourable Court for the following:

  1. An order of this Honourable Court setting aside the order revoking the Defendant/Applicant’s bail made on the false representation that the Defendant had jumped his bail.
  2. An order Setting aside the bench warrant issued against the Defendant/Applicant, on the basis of the misrepresentation that the Defendant had jumped bail and absconded, from his trial.
  3. An order setting aside the order of forfeiture of the bail bond of the Defendant’s sureties, made on the misrepresentation that the Defendant had jumped bail and absconded from his trial, as well as,
  4. An order restoring the Defendant/Applicant’s bail on the same terms upon which same was granted by this Honourable court on 25 April, 2017.
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Barrister Ejimakor made the prayers on the grounds that on 25 April 2017, Kanu had been admitted to bail.

Barrister Aloy Ejimakor

Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, Barrister Aloy Ejimakor

Kanu, he said, was enjoying his bail when he came under attack by security agents at his home in Abia State.

Consequently, he was forced to flee from Nigeria in what the Counsel regarded as “an act of self-preservation”.

Ejimakor further noted that the court revoked Nnamdi Kanu’s bail and issued bench warrant against him, claiming he jumped bail.

He was subsequently kidnapped in Kenya by federal agents and brought to Nigeria through extraordinary rendition.

He insisted that the order setting aside Nnamdi Kanu’s bail, the warrant of arrest and the forfeiture of his bail bond ought to be reversed by virtue of the decision/finding of the Supreme Court “in the interest of justice”.

Other lawyers attached to Ejimakor include Maxwell Opara, Esq. Patrick Agazie, Esq. and Jude Okey Ugwuanyi Esq.

Other are Godwin 0. Diugwu, Esq. Kenneth Oke, Esq. Mandela Umegborogu, Esq. Ochili Michael, Esq., et al.

The Motion for Restoration of Bail was backed by an Affidavit sworn to by Kanu’s brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu.

Prince Kanu, amongst other things, made an oath, stating as follows:

  1. That the Defendant was arraigned on a 15-count amended charge filed on 14 January 2022 for offences bordering on Terrorism.
  2. That the charges be quashed, and the Defendant discharged and acquitted.
  3. That the Defendant exercised his right of appeal to the Court of Appeal where the judges determined in favour of the Defendant that, on account of his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria, the Court lacked the jurisdiction to try the Defendant for any offence alleged against him.
  4. The remaining counts were therefore struck out and Nnamdi Kanu was discharged accordingly.
  5. That the Supreme Court also determined that the Defendant’s bail ought not to have been revoked and condemned the dastardly act carried out on the Defendant’s home which led to his self-exile, and which was in no way an attempt to jump bail.
  6. That the said Supreme Court Judge, His lordship Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, observed amongst others:
    “The respondent was on bail and therefore in custody of the law when his home was illegally invaded by heavily armed military officers of the appellant, causing him to flee from his home and the country to secure his life (emphasis ours).
    “In the face of such an attack, it was reasonable for him to flee to secure his life ‘and physical wellbeing.
    “That is what any normal and reasonable human being would do in that circumstance to preserve his life and physical well-being.
    “It is glaring that the consequences of that attack were intended or foreseeable. This is not arguable…
    “They knew that their illegal actions made it impossible for the respondent to be in court for his trial…
    “It is wrong to treat such a defendant as having jumped bail in the sense that he is running from prosecution or running to avoid prosecution in the pending criminal case in respect of which he was granted bait.
    “The respondent did not intentionally and knowingly fail to appear in court.
    “It was therefore wrong and malicious for the appellant that had caused the respondent to flee from his home and country to secure his life and that had therefore caused his unavoidable absence from court, to inform and thereby deceived the trial court that the respondent had jumped bail…
    “The respondent’s absence from court was caused by the invasion of his home by army officers of the appellant…
    “The trial court knew that the said extra judicial and illegal actions of the appellant made it impossible for the respondent to be in court for his trial, that the respondent’s absence is not intentional or deliberate absent (sic) and that the respondent is not running from prosecution or running to avoid prosecution…
    “The trial court acted unfairly and without rational and legally justifiable basis by its decisions revoking the respondent’s bail, forfeiting the amount securing the ball bond of his sureties and its order issuing a bench warrant for his arrest.
    “The orders were made on the basis of the false assumption that the respondent jumped bail”.
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Prince Kanu concluded by saying that the invasion of Nnamdi Kanu’s home caused him to flee to secure his life.

Hence, he said, his bail ought not to have been revoked.

He added that the restoration of Kanu’s bail will not overreach him but will aid him to adequately prepare for trial.

It will also grant him unfettered access to his Counsel, enhancing accelerated trial ordered by the court, Prince said.

He assured that upon restoration of his bail, Nnamdi Kanu will attend trials and abide by his bail conditions.

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