Nigeria: Despite the Appeal Court’s decision, we will keep Nnamdi Kanu in custody: Malami AGF

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has stated that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was only discharged by the Court of Appeal and not acquitted.

On Thursday, October 13, the Appeal Court in Abuja discharged Kanu, who was being prosecuted by the Federal Government at the Federal High Court in Abuja on 15 count charges bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism, offenses he denied.

In its decision, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal ruled that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to try Kanu because of his kidnapping and extraordinary rendition to Nigeria, which violated the OAU convention and protocol on extradition. The court also ruled that Kanu’s 15-count charge failed to disclose the location, date, time, and nature of the alleged offenses before he was unlawfully extradited to Nigeria in violation of international treaties. The court also ruled that the Federal Government failed to disclose where Nnamdi Kanu was arrested, despite serious terrorism allegations against him.

In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Dr. Umar Jibril Gwandu, Malami said the appeal court only discharged Kanu and did not acquit him.

The statement reads;

“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,” the statement said. “For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the Court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted.

Consequently, the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public.

The decision handed down by the court of appeal was on single issues that borders on rendition.

Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predates rendition on the basis of which Kanu jumped bail remain valid issues for judicial determination.

The Federal Government will consider all available options open to us on the judgment on rendition while pursuing determination of pre-rendition issues.”The statement read.

Mr Kanu’s supporters have begun nationwide celebrations following news of his release and acquittal by the Court of Appeal.

Amnesty International and other rights organizations have praised the ruling as a victory for democracy.

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