UPDATE: US Lawmaker Jarvis Johnson Urges Nnamdi Kanu’s Release

Court Tells FG, Governors To Apologize To Nnamdi Kanu, Pay Him N8 Billion Damages

by Victor Ndubuisi

A High Court in Enugu State has ordered the Federal Government and Southeast Governors’ Forum to extend an apology to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who is currently in detention.

In addition, the IPOB leader was awarded N8 billion in damages by the Federal Government and Southeast Governors’ Forum, the respondents in the complaint with the E/20/2023 number that was filed in January 2023 by Kanu’s attorney, Aloy Ejimakor.

In a statement released on Thursday, Ejimakor said that the court had clarified that Kanu’s right to self-determination is not illegal and, therefore, cannot be the reason for his arrest, detention, or prosecution.

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He said the suit was filed against the “Southeast Governors’ Forum and the FG (Respondents) for their collective executive actions (in 2017) that led to the proscription of IPOB and declaring it a terrorist group in contravention of Section 42 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity.”


Additionally, the court mandated that the Respondents—the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Southeast Governors’ Forum—issue an official letter or letters of apology to Kanu for violating his fundamental rights, jointly or severally, and that three national daily publish the letters.

In addition, the court ordered the “Respondents to, jointly or severally, pay the sum of N8,000,000,000.00 (Eight Billion Naira) to the Applicant (Kanu), being monetary damages claimed by the Applicant against the Respondents jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property and other damages suffered by the Applicant as a result of the infringements of his fundamental rights by the Respondents.”

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According to him, the High Court (coram Justice A.O. Onovo) granted the following reliefs: “Declared that the practical application of the Terrorism Prevention Act and the executive or administrative action of the Respondents (Southeast Governors Forum and the Federal Government) which directly led to the proscription of IPOB and its listing as a terrorist group, said IPOB being comprised of citizens of Nigeria of the Igbo and other Eastern Nigerian ethnic groups, professing the political opinion of self-determination and the consequent arrest, detention and prosecution of the Applicant (MAZI NNAMDI KANU) as a member/leader of said IPOB is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right not to be subjected to any disabilities or restrictions on the basis of his ethnicity as enshrined and guaranteed under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and his fundamental rights as enshrined under Articles 2,3,19 &20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Enforcement and Ratification) Act.

“Declared that self-determination is not a crime and thus cannot be used as a basis to arrest, detain and prosecute the Applicant, MAZI NNAMDI KANU.

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“Ordered the Respondents, jointly or severally, to issue official Letter(s) of Apology to the Applicant (MAZI NNAMDI KANU) for the infringement of his said fundamental rights; and publication of said Letter(s) of Apology in three (3) national dailies.”


Barristers Patrick Agazie, Ifeanyi Nworgu, Mandela Umegborogu, Ozioma Eguzoribe, Edith Chidimma Eze, and Obianuju Iloanya were among the other solicitors on the team lead by Ejimakor, who stated that he was grateful for their efforts in the lawsuit.


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