Zakaa Lazarus, Abuja
A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja on Friday, exonerated the Federal Government on the allegation that leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was forcefully abducted abroad to stand his trial.
Justice Binta Nyako, in a ruling, held that rendition for the purpose of criminal investigation was allowed.Nyako said since Kanu was on bench warrant, the law allowed that anywhere he was sighted, he can be arrested and brought to face trial.“
Rendition for the purpose of criminal investigation is allowed.“In the instant case, there is bench warrant on the defendant (Kanu). Suffice to say, he is a fugitive before the court,” she said.
The judge, who dismissed Kanu’s move to challenge the terrorism charge, upheld seven counts in the fresh charges filed by the federal government against the IPOB leader.
Nyako said that the federal government, through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), had been able to established some allegations against Kanu in counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15.“
“The court shall proceed to try the defendant (Kanu) on those counts, ” she ruled.
After the review of the 15 counts, she held that about eight of the counts appeared to be similar.She, therefore, ordered that counts 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 13 and 14 to be struck out.
Nyako also ruled that the order proscribing IPOB as a terror group still subsisted until it was vacated since the issue was still on appeal.
She dismissed the argument by Chief Mike Ozekhome, counsel for Kanu, that whether IPOB was a terrorist organisation was still a subject of appeal.(NAN)