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FG Takes Kanu to Supreme Court, Says IPOB Leader a Flight Risk

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The Federal Government has filed seven grounds of appeal against the October 13 Court of Appeal judgment which discharged the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

It asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment and restore the charge against the respondent to be tried at the trial court.

The government, in a motion on notice in support of the appeal, is also seeking a stay of execution of the judgment of the court presided over by Justice Jummai Sankey, pending the hearing and final determination of its appeal, noting that the IPOB leader posed a flight risk.

The notice of appeal dated October 18 was signed by the Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mohammed Abubakar, Assistant Chief State Counsel, D. Kaswe and A. Aluko and Senior State Counsel, G. Nweze, Department of Public Prosecution, Federal Ministry of Justice.

The appellant averred that the appellate court erred in law when it held that the trial court had no jurisdiction to try Kanu because of “the extraordinary rendition of the respondent.”

It stated, “There was no evidence led by the respondent before the court of the first instance and indeed before the court below to show how he was allegedly abducted and rendered to Nigeria as required by Section 139 of the Evidence Act, 2011 since he alleged that he was abducted without following due process of law.”

The appellant also contended that the court below erred when it held that the executive arm must not be allowed to benefit from the abduction of the respondent “when in fact and by its judgment, the respondent was allowed to benefit from his illegality of disobeying the orders of the court when he jumped bail and was rewarded with a discharge from the charges pending against him at the trial court thereby occasioning a miscarriage of justice against the state and the victims of the crimes perpetrated by the respondent.”

The government claimed that the appeal court was wrong by saying that how Kanu was brought back to the country can vitiate and indeed weaken the criminal charges of treason, treasonable felony and terrorism brought against him.

It added that the lower court made that decision without taking into account the fact that the nature of the “entry’’ of the respondent is not relevant in the determination of the charges against him.

The appellant further stated that the appeal court justices failed to be bound by established judicial precedent on the mode of “entry” of a defendant charged with the commission of an offence established by the Supreme Court.

The appeal court, the FG noted, misdirected itself when it relied heavily on the Organisation of African Unions Conventions on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and cases decided from foreign jurisdictions as against the substantive law covering the criminal procedure in Nigeria.

“The court below overlooked the submissions of the appellant with regards to the ACJA, 2015 which takes its taproot from the grundnorm Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to the effect that it is the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 that governs the trial of every Nigerian charged with the commission of a crime, this failure occasioned the miscarriage of justice,’’ the appeal notice read.

The FG further argued that the court below erred in law when it discharged the respondent of the offences mentioned in counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15 bordering on terrorism offences contained in the amended charge dated January 14, 2022, and retained by the trial court for want of jurisdiction.

The appeal observed that the appellate court was completely silent and closed its eyes to the obvious fact of the issues which predate the rendition of the respondent because he was standing trial for conspiracy, and treasonable felony terrorism before his escape.

“If the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal had taken into consideration the act of illegality of the respondent in jumping bail and the corresponding duty of the appellant to ensure his presence in court, the decision of the court would have been different,’’ the appeal read.

In an affidavit, Loveme Odubo of the Department of Public Prosecution, Federal Ministry of Justice, stated that Kanu has a history of jumping bail and may be difficult to secure if the appeal was not granted.

The affidavit read, “That the respondent is a flight risk person given his previous antecedent of jumping bail while standing trial.

“The respondent is a dual citizen of both Nigeria and Britain which will make it easy for him to move out of Nigeria and escape justice. That the respondent’s presence will be difficult to secure should the judgment of the court below is not overturned and set aside by the Supreme Court.

“There is a need to stay the execution of the judgment of this honourable court to avoid a situation where the judgment of the Supreme Court will be overreached and rendered nugatory.’’

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Naja’atu Mohammed Accuses Aisha Buhari of Being Part of Aso Rock Cabal

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A former Director in the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, Naja’atu Mohammed, has said that the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, is part of the cabals in Aso Rock.

This follows the statement made by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, that some Aso Rock cabals were working to frustrate the victory of APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, in the forthcoming elections.

She said this Monday morning while featuring on Arise TV Morning Show.

Mohammed said unlike El-Rufai, she was not afraid to mention names.

“Let me tell you one of the cabals is Aisha Buhari. Aisha that is talking is part of the cabals. We knew the cabals of the late Abba Kyari. When she started talking of the cabals, she didn’t have the guts to come and name names. For the first time in Nigeria, I started to mention names.

“She (Aisha) reinforced what El-Rufai said. El-Rufai said ‘the cabals in the villa’, she confirmed it. She is also part of the cabals. I am trained not to say the details. We are trained to leave names. You have to have the guts to give names,” she said.

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Supreme Court Affirms Lawan As Authentic APC Candidate for Yobe North

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The Supreme Court has affirmed the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Yobe North in the forthcoming 2023 general election.

In a majority judgment delivered on Monday, the apex court allowed the appeal filed by the APC against Bashir Machina’s candidature.

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Atiku Support Group Accuses Wike of Arresting Members in Rivers

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The Atiku Support Organisation has alleged that about 30 of its members were arrested by armed policemen during a meeting in GRA, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Sunday afternoon.

The National Publicity Secretary of ASO, Victor Moses, disclosed this in a statement he personally signed and issued on Sunday.

In the statement titled ‘Release our members wow, Atiku Support Organisation tells Gov Wike’, Moses said the meeting was part of preparations for the the Peoples Democratic Party presidential rally slated to hold on February 11.

He said some of those arrested were state and local government leaders of the organisation, alleging that the officers may have acted on the instructions of the state governor, Nyesom Wike.

The statement partly read, “Earlier today, Sunday, at about 2 pm, armed police officers in about six Toyota Hilux marked Intelligence Unit and acting on the instruction of the Rivers State Governor surrounded plot No 3 popularly called White House in Omerelu Street, by Salvation Ministries Headquarters, G.R.A., Port Harcourt, where state and local government leaders of the Atiku Support Organisation were holding meetings as part of the preparations for the Peoples Democratic Party presidential rally slated to be held on 11th February 2023.

“Realising the armed men were sent to stop the meeting, some members escaped through the fence, sustaining wounds caused by barbed wires.

“Over 30 of our members, state and LGA leaders, most of whom are women, were arrested and taken away in two white Hilux of the intelligence unit, while about four Hilux heavily armed with police have sealed up the meeting venue. The said No 3 Omerelu Street, GRA, is directly behind the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt.”

The statement added that none of the phone numbers of those allegedly arrested was connecting.

The group called on Governor Wike to release its members with immediate effect, adding that Wike must end “his do-or-die politics of bitterness and stop instigating violence in Rivers State against Atiku Abubakar’s supporters.”

The group also called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to order the release of its members and put a end to what it called “political rascality” in Rivers State, and “to avert Governor Wike’s instigated bloodbath in the state during the election,” adding that “Rivers people should and must be allowed to make their political choices freely.”

When contacted, the spokesman for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she had not received such report.

Efforts to reach the state Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong, proved abortive as he did not pick several calls
put across to his mobile telephone.

He had yet to respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.

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