Nigerian prosecutors Friday said they will be appealing a court decision which was passed on Thursday that dismissed charges against Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the IPOB.
According to several Nigerian sources, authorities in the west African nation will be holding Kanu while President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration reviews all legal options.
Umar Gwandu, the spokesperson for Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation, Thursday said the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice notes the decision passed to dismiss charges against Kanu, however emphasized that the separatist leader was only discharged and not acquitted.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has received the news of the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the trial of Nnamdi Kanu,” said Gwandu, adding, “For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the Court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted.”
Justice Oludotun Adefope Okojie, the lead judge who oversaw Kanu’s case on Thursday, said the court dismissed charges because the lower court had no jurisdiction to oversee the case against the separatist leader.
“In view of the fact that the trial court lacks jurisdiction to hear this case because the process of extradition of the appellant from Kenya to Nigeria was unlawful since due process was not followed, this appeal succeeds” said Okojie.
Kanu’s legal team vehemently denies charges linked to the separatist leader and argue that their client did not receive a fair trial after he was forcefully extradited from Kenya to Nigeria, an allegation that Kenyan authorities declined to comment on.
Efeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s legal representative told VOA that the appeals court verdict was motivated by the alleged violation of international laws by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration which led to the return of his client to Nigeria.
Emma Powerful, the spokesperson for Kanu’s IPOB says upon the release of their leader, the separatist group is going to focus on the liberation of Biafra.
“Our next target is to ensure that Biafra liberation is materialized,” said Powerful, adding, “No human being can stop it.”