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18 Nov 2017

Court to Rule on Nnamdi Kanu's Whereabouts on December 13

Following the failure of security officials to produce IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu for prosecution, the court is set to rule on the case in the coming month.
IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday fixed December 13 to deliver its judgment in a suit seeking an order to compel the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, to produce the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

Justice Binta Nyako adjourned for judgment after hearing Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, and two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Augustine Alegeh and Akinlolu Kehinde, who represented the Chief of Army Staff.

Justice Nyako is the same judge before whom Kanu and others are being prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation on charges of treasonable felony.

Kanu was absent from the previous proceedings of the criminal trial on October 17, 2017, a development which prompted the judge to order Kanu’s sureties, including a serving senator, Eyinnaya Abaribe, to account for Kanu’s whereabouts at the next sitting, scheduled for Monday.

Ejiofor and some lawyers acting on Kanu’s behalf, had on September 27, 2017, filed an originating motion of a ‘habeas corpus,’ marked FHC/ABJ/CS/908/20017, praying for an order directing Buratai to produce Kanu in court.

Part of the 12 grounds of the motion, stated that “rampaging soldiers” under the Chief of Army Staff’s command, allegedly invaded Kanu’s house in Afara-Ukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State, on September 14, 2017, and abducted and possibly killed the IPOB leader and his other relatives in the process.

The lawyers claimed that the soldiers had a direct contact with Kanu on September 14, when they allegedly invaded the IPOB leader’s house “on a murderous raid, where live and mortar bullets were fired on unarmed and defenceless people, leaving 28 persons dead”.

 “The invading soldiers who had direct contact with the applicant on this fateful day (September 14, 2017) should be in a position to produce the applicant before the court. It is either the respondent’s rampaging soldiers abducted the applicant during this raid or killed him in the process,” part of the grounds of the motion read.

On Friday, Ejiofor maintained that soldiers who were in Kanu’s hometown for ‘Operation Python Dance II’, a military exercise in the South-East, had the last contact with Kanu during an alleged military invasion of the IPOB leader’s house on September 14, 2017.

Ejiofor, who referred to photo exhibits allegedly showing scenes of destruction at Kanu’s house during the alleged invasion by the soldiers, urged the court to “invoke the doctrine of last seen” and compel the Chief of Army Staff to produce Kanu.

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