A Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, has ordered the Federal Government to pay the leaders of the Indigenous People of Biafra Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the sum of N500 million as damages following his illegal abduction and human rights abuse from Kenya.
The Court also ordered the Federal government to return him to Kenya from where he was extradited to Nigeria on June 19, 2021.
The Court presided by Justice E . N Anyadike, insisted that the extradition of Kanu from Kenya without recourse to the legal process was a flagrant abuse of his fundamental human rights.
He held that the respondent failed to disprove the claims of the applicant that he was arrested, blindfolded, tortured, and chained to the ground for eight days in Kenya before his extradition to Nigeria.
Kanu, through his special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, had approached the court challenging his extradition from Kenya on June 19, 2022.
Ejimakor told the court that the suit is sui generis (of a special class) and was primarily aimed at redressing the infamous unlawful expulsion or extraordinary rendition of Kanu, which is a clear violation of his fundamental rights under Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, as well as Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution.
He said, ‘In addition to the rendition, I am asking the Court to redress the myriad violations that came with the rendition, such as the torture, the unlawful detention and the denial of the right to fair hearing which is required by law before anybody can be expelled from one country to the other.
“I am also seeking to halt his prosecution and restore him to the status quo before his rendition on 19th June 2021.
“You will recall that on January 19, 2022, the High Court of Abia State decided that portion of violation of Kanu’s fundamental rights that occurred in 2017. Even as I had made claims that bordered on rendition, the Court declined jurisdiction on grounds that rendition, being related to extradition, lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court. This is what informed my decision to initiate the suit before the Federal High Court.
“To be sure, the extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu, triggered myriad legal questions that cut across multiple jurisdictions in Nigeria and even triggered the international legal order, to boot. In other words, the rendition has expanded the matter of Kanu far beyond the realms of the Abuja trial and opened up new legal frontiers that must be ventilated to the hilt before other courts and tribunals within and without Nigeria.
“Thus, this very case before the Federal High Court in Umuahia is one of such that is aimed at seeking a definitive judicial pronouncement on the constitutionality of the extraordinary rendition. The ones in the United Kingdom, Kenya, African Union, and the United Nations are in addition.
“I would like to seize this opportunity to express my profound appreciation to the highly competent and hardworking team of lawyers that I am leading in the prosecution of this complex suit. Special mention must be made of Barristers Patrick Agazie, Ifeyinwa Nworgu, Tochukwu Arugbuonye, Franklin Amandi, Ohaeto Uwazie and Mandela Umegborogu”.
“For ease of reference and avoidance of any doubt, the following are the specific reliefs that I requested in the Suit”.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the judgment, Ejimakor said the judgment has shown that the court still remains the last hope for the common man.
He called on the federal government to obey the Court order and return Kanu to Kenya.
AIB Signs MoU With Saudi Arabia On Training For Aircraft Engineers
The federal government has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia on training of aircraft accident investigators between the two countries.
The Accident Investigation Bureau of Nigeria, which has transmuted to National Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) signed for Nigeria, while the Accident Investigation Bureau of Saudi Arabia signed for the Arabian country in Abuja yesterday.
Speaking after signing the MoU, the commissioner of AIB-N, Akin Olateru said: “there is one aviation in the world and the rule of the game is cooperation. There is no one country that is an island. We need to work together as a team to enhance safety.
“We are both established. We both have equipment. We both have human capital but there are a lot of lessons we can learn from each other.”
Speaking on the details of the MoU, Olateru said, “Saudi Arabia will help us in the area of human capital development, we can engage ideas and its all about improving safety for the flying public.
We are going to have constant exchange of ideas.
There will be some form of training exchange programme.
This agreement would have signed before COVID but we are glad, it is signed now.”
Also speaking, the director-general, AIB Saudi Arabia, Abdulelah Felimban said: “We came to meet our counterpart in Nigeria, the Accident Investigation Bureau of Nigeria to open the channels of communication, of cooperation, of sharing experiences, learning from each other and benefiting from the capabilities that each of us have.
“We do investigations to ensure and promote sir safety.
Our business is to collect data, evidences, analyse them and put forward recommendations to make our skies safer.”
Man Electrocuted While Stealing High-tension Wire In Abuja
A middle-aged man, identified simply as Ezekiel, was electrocuted while trying to steal a high-tension wire in the Utako area of the Federal Capital Territory.
The incident occurred on Saturday night.
A commercial driver, who asked to be identified only as Hassan, told our correspondent on Sunday that Ezekiel sustained severe burns from the incident.
He said, “This early morning, a man known as Ezekiel, was electrocuted. He wanted to steal a wire from the high tension belonging to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company and in the process of doing that he was electrocuted.
“We heard the sound of an electrical spark in the night and also heard the scream of the man.
“If not for the fact that saw, plier, and torchlight scattered on the ground, I would have thought that he wanted to commit suicide. But with those tools, he went there for a mission. The man was lucky he did not die, but he sustained multiple burn injuries.”
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh, confirmed the incident.
Adeh said, “Our men while on patrol came in contact with him; he had severe burns, and they rushed him to the Wuse General Hospital where he is currently receiving treatment. He will definitely be prosecuted but we will wait till he fully recovers. His tools are in our custody.”
Aisha Buhari Withdraws Suit Against Detained Undergraduate
Wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, has withdrawn the defamation of character suit she filed against a 500-Level student of the Federal University, Dutse, Aminu Adamu, before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Adamu was arraigned on Tuesday before Justice Yusuf Halilu by the FCT Commissioner of Police following a complaint by Mrs Buhari over a tweet by the defendant on a one-count charge bordering on defamation of the character of the president’s wife.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was subsequently remanded at the Suleja Correctional Centre in Niger State by the judge, pending hearing of his bail application.
The matter took a happy turn for Adamu on Friday at the hearing of his bail application when the prosecution counsel, Fidelis Ogbobe, informed the court that the president’s wife had decided to withdraw the case against the defendant following the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians.
Based on the development, Ogbobe then applied for the withdrawal of the case, hinging the application on Section 108 (2) (a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
Ruling on the prosecution’s application to withdraw the case against Adamu, Justice Halilu commended Mrs Buhari for her gesture.
The judge, however, admonished parents and guardians to monitor their children and wards.
He thereafter discharged the defendant.
Adamu’s travails began in June when he tweeted on his Twitter handle, @aminullahie Catalyst, in which he screenshot Mrs Buhari’s image and wrote in Hausa “su mama anchi kudi talakawa ankoshi”, meaning, “mama has eaten monies meant for the poor to satisfaction”.
Following the president’s wife’s complaint, the police traced Adamu to Dutse, Jigawa State, five months after his tweet and arrested him on the premises of the university, brought him to Abuja and allegedly drove him straight to the Presidential Villa, where he was allegedly beaten and tortured.
His arrest and alleged torture on the instructions of the president’s wife were greeted with outrage from Nigerians, prompting the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), the umbrella body of Nigerian students, to first apologise to Mrs Buhari for Adamu’s indiscretion and pleaded for his release.
The body, however, later threatened a mass protest by students against Mrs Buhari pending when Adamu would be released.
The planned protest was scheduled to commence on Monday.