The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the continuation of the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on terrorism charges.
The case which started in 2015 had been put on hold at the Federal High Court in Abuja after the Court of Appeal dismissed the charges in a judgement delivered in October 2022.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja had anchored its decision dismissing the charges on the illegality of the “extraordinary rendition” of Mr Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria in June 2021 to continue his trial.
A five-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Kudirat Kekere-Ekun declared on Friday that Mr Kanu’s forcible repatriation from Kenya to Nigeria is illegal.
However, the court, in the lead judgement prepared by Tijjani Abubakar, ruled that there is no Nigerian law that prohibits the use of “illegally obtained evidence for the trial of a defendant.”
The lead judgement of the Supreme Court was prepared by Mr Abubakar but was read on his behalf by Emmanuel Agim.
“The Court of Appeal was wrong to say that the Federal High Court can no longer try Mr Kanu,” the court held.
“The appeal is allowed and the cross-appeal is dismissed.”
In the unanimous decision, the Supreme Court said Mr Kanu’s forcible repatriation from Kenya in June 2021 by the Nigerian government did not rob the trial court of jurisdiction to entertain the IPOB leader’s trial.
“Our law is that evidence illegality obtained is valid before the court. A violation of Mr Kanu’s right should have been by way of civil proceedings. That is not our law for now,” Mr Abubakar declared.
He also ruled that there is no legislation that provides in Nigeria that trial should stop where the prosecution does something illegal against the defendant while standing trial. “There is a civil remedy,” Mr Abubakar said.
The judgement also implies an effective reversal of the previous decision of the Court of Appeal ordering the release of Mr Kanu from detention.
Buhari Govt Sold Nigeria’s Future, Says Governor Mutfwang
“This government inherited an economy where we simply printed money up to the tune of ₦30 trillion and shared. This government inherited an economy where the crude oil we’re yet to take out of the ground has been sold in advance.
“So when you’re talking about the fall of the naira, it’s not rocket time. We sold our future under the last administration. No wonder you’re hearing of riots today, people intercepting food on the way. We are lucky on the Plateau that perhaps we have more food than many other states.
“And I pray that the time will not come on the Plateau that we will see this kind of riot for food, but it means we must roll over our sleeves and get to work. And that is why, for us as a government, when we announced one of the positions that talked about Food Security, people were laughing but it is a serious issue.” -Governor Caleb Mutfwang, Plateau At Swearing-In Of Special Advisers, Heads Of Govt Agencies
After Meeting NGF Chairman, Akpabio Apologies To state Governors Over N30bn Claim
The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has finally apologised to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under the leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State over his comment on the N30bn allowance allegedly given to them to cushion the effect of inflation in food prices.
This was coming after the Senate President held a meeting with the NGF Chairman and some of his counterparts in Abuja yesterday.
Akpabio had, at a plenary sitting last Tuesday, said an “unverified report” indicated that state governors received N30bn each from the Federation Account to cushion the effect of inflation and the high cost of food prices.
The statement has generated controversies in the public space, with some commentators asking governors to come clean about the money they did not collect.
However, on Monday, Akpabio in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh, retracted the statement, saying the SP held the governors in high esteem.
The statement reads below:
“During the session, the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30bn to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.
“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.
“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that state governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.”
Eyiboh added that Akpabio has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.
He, therefore, urged the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.
He added, “The President of the Senate recognises and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”
Police arrest wanted Abuja kidnapper, Dahiru after Wike’s N20m Bounty
Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command have arrested a wanted notorious kidnapper, Saidu Abdulkadir, popularly known as Dahiru Adamu.
This comes barely three days after the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike placed a N20m bounty on the suspect and one other wanted kidnapper, Abu Ibrahim.
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