The Court of Appeal, Abuja has reserved its ruling in the federal government’s application for stay of judgment discharging leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (POB), Nnamdi Kanu of terrorism charge.
A three man panel of the appellate court on Monday shortly after taking argument in support and against the federal government’s application announced that the date for its ruling had been reserved and will be communicated to parties in the suit.
The appellate court had on October 13 discharged Kanu from the alleged terrorism charge preferred against him by the government over the manner Kanu was brought back into the country to continue his alleged terrorism trial.
The appellate court in the lead judgment delivered by Justice Adedotun Adefope-Okojie had held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to try Kanu because his extraordinary rendition violated international convention and protocols.
Dissatisfied, the federal government having filed a notice of appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal at the apex court on Monday asked the court to stay the execution of the judgment discharging Kanu from the charge pending the hearing and determination of the appeal at the apex court.
Federal government’s lawyer, Mr David Kaswe hinged the request on the security situation in the country and especially in the South East, adding that Nnamdi Kanu is a flight risk who had once jumped bail and freeing before the appeal at the apex court could jeopardize the case.
Responding, Kanu’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, faulted the request for stay, arguing that contrary to the submission of the government’s lawyer, there would be anarchy and chaos in the South East if the order for the release of Kanu was not obeyed.
While observing that the the propose of the application is to get the court to overrule itself, he informed the court that the applicant had boasted that it will not carry out the judgment of the court.
While further faulting the grounds upon which the application was brought, the learned silk maintained that it qas forbidden to stay execution of judgment in a criminal matter.
He added that there was no valid appeal in the first as the said notice of appeal at the apex court was not certified.
In urging the court to dismiss the application, Ozekhome pointed out that the applicant was already in contempt of the court’s order and granting his request would imply that the court is validating its action.
After listening to the arguments for and against the motion, Justice Haruna Tsalmani announced that judgment had been reserved to a date that would be communicated to parties in the suit.