Nnamdi Kanu: Malami says IPOB leader not free yet, must answer for jumping bail

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami on Thursday reacted to the decision of the Appeal Court to quash terrorism charges against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Justice Minister said the appeal court only discharged Kanu and did not acquit him of jumping bail in 2017 when agents of the federal government invaded his Afaraukwu home in Abia State, opening live rounds on any sighted living thing.

“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has received the news of the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the trial of Nnamdi Kanu,” the statement said. “For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the Court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted.

“Consequently, the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public.

“The decision handed down by the court of appeal was on a single issues that borders on rendition.

“Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predates rendition on the basis of which Kanu jumped bail remain valid issues for judicial determination.

“The Federal Government will consider all available options open to us on the judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues.”

TODAY POLITICS recalls that the argument of Mr Malami has already been addressed by a federal high court in Abia State where the court faulted the Nigerian Army for raiding the residence of the separatist leader, forcing him to leave the country.

The court fined the government N1 billion for breaching the fundamental human right of the IPOB leader who resurfaced in Israel, London and Kenya where he was intercepted and renditioned last year.

Justice Binta Nyako of the federal high court in Abuja had reduced the amended charges against Mr Kanu when he was re-arrainged before her, striking out 8 of the 15-count charge.

Dissatisfied with the ruling of the lower court, the Defence counsel led by Mike Ozekhome (SAN) approached the Court of Appeal, arguing that the remaining 7-count charge be struck out for violation of local and international laws bordering on extradition which the country is a signatory to.

The three man panel agreed with the submission of the appellant and dismissed the remaining charges, saying the prosecution, by failing to detail how Mr Kanu was renditioned back to the country, agreed with the defence team that the separatist leader was illegally abducted.

The Appeal Court also lampooned the lower court for entertaining the submission of the prosecution without the explanation wether the law was complied with in extraditing Mr Kanu.

The reaction of Mr Malami suggests the President Muhammadu Buhari administration might head to the Supreme Court for the final decision on the matter.