A Federal High Court today (26th October 2022) in Umuahia ordered the Federal Government to “restore Nnamdi Kanu to his status quo before 19th June 2021” and also pay him N500 million.
The Court in its further rulings issued an injunction restraining the Attorney General of the Federation from prosecuting Kanu consequent upon his extraordinary rendition.
Kanu had in March this year filed a suit through his special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor to enforce his fundamental rights stemming from what Ejimakor had termed his “extraordinary rendition” from Kenya in June last year.
In its Judgment, the court dismissed the Federal Government’s objections to its jurisdiction and upheld all the reliefs sought by Kanu which include “that the arrest of the Applicant in Kenya by the Respondents’ agents without due process of law is arbitrary, and the Respondents’ enforced disappearance of the Applicant for eight (8) days and their refusal to produce the Applicant before a Kenyan Court for the purpose of Applicant’s extradition is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right against arbitrary arrest, to his personal liberty and to fair hearing as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter.
“That the detention of the Applicant in a non-official secret facility in Kenya and the torture of the Applicant in Kenya by the Respondents’ agents is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right.
“That, pursuant to Article 12(4) of the Charter, the expulsion (or extraordinary rendition) of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria by the Respondents without a decision taken in accordance with the law of Kenya is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right to a fair hearing.
“That any criminal prosecution of the Applicant the purpose of which the Respondents unlawfully expelled the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right to a fair hearing,
“Others include restraining and prohibiting the Respondents from taking any further step in any criminal prosecution of the Applicant enabled by the said unlawful expulsion of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria.
“An order mandating and compelling the Respondents to forthwith restitute or otherwise restore the Applicant to his liberty, same being his state of being as of 19th June 2021; and to thereupon repatriate the Applicant to his country of lawful domicile (to wit: the United Kingdom) to await the outcome of any formal request the Respondents may file before the competent authorities in Britain for the lawful extradition of the Applicant to Nigeria.
“An order mandating and compelling the Respondents to issue an official Letter of Apology to the Applicant for the infringement of his fundamental rights, and publication of said Letter of Apology in three (3) national dailies.
“An order mandating and compelling the Respondents to pay the sum of N500,000,000 (Five Hundred Million Naira) to the Applicant, being monetary damages claimed by the Applicant against the Respondents jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property and other damages suffered by the Applicant as a result of the infringements of Applicant’s fundamental rights by the respondents.”
Reading the judgement, the Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Evelyn Anyadike said the applicant showed enough evidence of his travails in the hands of the federal government and its agencies, including the attack on his Isiama Afaraukwu in Umuahia, extraordinary rendition from Kenya without due procedures, inhuman treatment by government agencies at Nairobi Kenya and in Abuja DSS detention cell and verbal abuse among others
“These amount to inhuman treatment and in violation of his fundamental rights. The Applicant is therefore entitled to damages.
“The issue is based on the manner of arrest, detention for eight days without access to law court, abuses.
“These have exposed the Applicant to global ridicule.”
She, therefore, awarded as damages, the sum of N500 million against the respondents; the federal government, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the Federal Ministry of Justice.
However, there was no representation of the respondents.
In his reaction after the judgment, the lead counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, Alloy Ejimakor expressed his satisfaction with the judgment, adding that the essence of the suit is not the damages, but the establishment that Kanu was wrongly treated.
Barr Ejimakor further called on the Federal government to “promptly comply with the judgment, more particularly the part that requires Kanu to be returned to Kenya.”
“This judgment indicates a burgeoning judicial uprising against the Federal government in relation to how it is handling the matter of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB,” he said.
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