The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed the Supreme Court’s decision not to release Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on nine new grounds.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court allowed the Federal Government’s request to include the new grounds to its modified notice of appeal from October 28, 2022.
The decision came as a result of an application filed by Tijani Gadzali, SAN, a government attorney, who also requested an adjournment to address Kanu’s plea to be relocated from the DSS holding facility to the Kuje Correctional Center.
Kanu’s plea would be opposed, but Gazzali, SAN, informed the court that he would need more time to prepare a counter-affidavit.
A five-member panel of the supreme court, chaired by Justice Inyang Okoro, postponed a decision-making hearing until May 11 in this case.
Kanu’s legal team, represented by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Ifeanyi Ejiofor, called the attention of the supreme court to an application requesting the release of their client on bail, pending the conclusion of the hearing of the appeal on Thursday at the resumed hearings in the case.
In light of his failing health, Ozekhome (SAN) claimed that it was necessary to also remove his client from DSS custody and place him in a location where he could receive appropriate medical care.
Therefore, he requested an expedited hearing for the substantive appeal as well as other outstanding applications.
Kanu has previously requested that the Supreme Court overturn the FG’s appeal against his release.
He specifically asked the top court to “strike out and/or dismiss the Respondent’s Appeal No: SC/CR/1361/2022, for lack of diligent prosecution.”
Additionally, a court order establishing his own cross-appeal for hearing.
The IPOB leader argued that under Section 6 (1) of the Supreme Court (Criminal Appeals) Practice Direction 2013, FG has just 10 days after the record of appeal was served to submit and serve him with its brief of argument.
In addition, he claimed that Order 2 Rule 29 (1) and (2) and Order 6 Rule 9 of the Supreme Court Rules, both of which were revised in 2014, gave him the right to ask for the dismissal of FG’s appeal for lack of diligent prosecution.
According to him, “Parties were served with the record of appeal since the 2nd November 2022.
“The ten (10) days stipulated under the Fast Track Rules of this Honourable Court for the Respondent to file its Appellant’s Brief has since elapsed.
“The Respondent is not diligent in prosecuting its appeal.
“The purpose of this Honourable Court’s Rules and Practice Directions is to provide fair, impartial and expeditious administration of criminal appeals, especially in relation to offences of terrorism, rape, kidnapping, corruption, money laundering and human trafficking.
“On the 28th day of October 2022, the lower court while relying on the Notice of Appeal filed by the Respondent, granted the Respondent’s application for stay of execution of the judgment of the lower court, and consequently stayed the execution of its judgement delivered on the 13th October 2022, which discharged the Applicant and prohibited his further detention.
“The Respondent, which obtained an order of stay of execution of the judgment of the lower court, on the basis of this appeal, has not demonstrated any good faith in prosecuting the said appeal.
“Owing to the pendency of the instant appeal, the Applicant who was discharged by the lower court since the 13th of October, 2022, is still in the custody of the Appellant/Respondent’s State Security Service (SSS), where he has been held in solitary confinement since the 29th day of June, 2021.
“Striking out and/or dismissing the Respondent’s appeal will serve the best interest of justice and fair trial, having particular regard to the fact that the Applicant’s right to liberty was stayed by the lower court on account of the pendency of the Respondent’s abandoned appeal.
“The Applicant has filed his Cross-appellant’s brief and same has been duly served on the Respondent.
“It is in the interest of justice and fair trial to set the Applicant’s cross-appeal down for hearing.
“The Respondent which is not desirous of prosecuting its appeal, will not be prejudiced by the grant of the instant application.”
Follow us on Facebook
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Anaedo Online or official policies of the Anaedo Online.