Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on Wednesday secured another legal victory against the Nigerian government, as the Federal High Court, Umuahia, ordered the government to halt his prosecution.
IPOB special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, broke the news via his Twitter handle on Wednesday afternoon.
The suit, which is a fundamental rights case, was filed in March by Mr Ejimakor on behalf of Mr Kanu.
Mr Ejimakor said the court granted all the seven prayers sought by Mr Kanu, including a request that the government should restore the IPOB leader to his state of being as of 19 June, 2021.
The court denied the federal government’s application to transfer the “extraordinary rendition” suit to Abuja. The court ruled that “Umuahia has the jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit”, the lawyer said in the Twitter post.
Mr Kanu had asked the Federal High Court, Umuahia, to declare his arrest, detention and prosecution illegal.
He had asked the court to compel the government to release and “repatriate him to Britain, his country of domicile and citizenship”.
Mr Kanu told the court that his arrest and detention in Kenya, as well as subsequent trial in Nigeria was an infringement on his fundamental rights to personal liberty and fair hearing as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
The IPOB leader had asked the court to compel the Nigerian government to pay him N500 million, being monetary damages for the “physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property and other damages” he suffered as a result of the infringements of his fundamental rights through his unlawful extradition to Nigeria.
He had also asked the court to declare as unlawful the military invasion of his home in Abia State in September 2017, and to compel the Nigerian government to tender a public apology to him “for the infringement of his fundamental rights”.
The court, in granting the reliefs sought by Mr Kanu, ordered the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to stop further prosecution of the IPOB leader consequent upon his extraordinary rendition, and that the federal government should “restore Nnamdi Kanu to his status quo before 19th June 2021”.
Shortly after the court judgment, Mr Ejimakor urged the Nigerian government to comply with the judgment, by returning Mr Kanu to Kenya where he was arrested in June 2021 and repatriated to Nigeria to continue with his trial.
Wednesday’s ruling occurs several days after the Court of Appeal ordered the federal government to release Mr Kanu.
The government is yet to release him and has asked the appeal court for permission not to implement the ruling.
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