Only Court can determine Nnamdi Kanu's fate - Fagbemi - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, May 24, 2024

Only Court can determine Nnamdi Kanu's fate - Fagbemi

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, on Friday, adduced reason why the administration of President Bola Tinubu declined to drop the charge against the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

Fagbemi, SAN, who addressed the issue after he presented the scorecard of the Federal Ministry of Justice as part of activities to mark the one year anniversary of the President Tinubu-led government, described the allegations against the IPOB leader as a serious one, insisting that his fate would only be determined by the court.

He maintained that since the matter is already pending in court, the law should be allowed to run its course.

The AGF, who was responding to questions after his presentation, argued that the case pending against Kanu was remarkably different from the charge that was entered against the convener of the RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, which his office withdrew.

He said: "Sowore and Kanu are not the same. When it comes to the first one, I did not have difficulty to say, go. But, I have difficulty with the second one."

Fagbemi, SAN, stressed that Kanu's detention was in accordance with the Constitution, saying, "the matter is still in court, let's wait for the court."

It will be recalled that both Kanu and Sowore were arrested and placed on trial by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Whereas Kanu was charged with treasonable felony, Sowore was among other things, accused of attempting to overthrow the Buhari-led government through unconstitutional means.

However, shortly after he assumed office as the AGF, Fagbemi, SAN, wrote to the Federal High Court in Abuja to terminate further hearing on the charge against Sowore.

On the other hand, the AGF briefed a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a seasoned prosecutor, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, to take over the prosecution of the embattled IPOB leader who is facing a seven-count charge the Federal Government preferred against him.

It will be recalled that Kanu was first arrested in Lagos on October 14, 2015, upon his return to the country from the United Kingdom, UK.

Trial Justice Binta Nyako had on April 25, 2017, granted him bail on health ground, after he had spent about 18 months in detention.

Upon the perfection of the bail conditions, he was on April 28, 2017, released from the Kuje prison. 

However, midway into the trial, the IPOB leader escaped from the country after soldiers invaded his country home at Afara Ukwu Ibeku in Umuahia, Abia State, an operation that led to the death of some of his followers.

Kanu was later re-arrested in Kenya on June 19, 2021 and extraordinarily renditioned back to the country by security agents on June 27, 2021.

Following the development, the trial court, on June 29, 2021, remanded him in custody of DSS, where he remained till date. 

On April 8, 2022, the court struck out eight out of the 15-count charge that FG preferred against him on the premise that they lacked substance. 

Likewise, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on October 13, 2022, ordered Kanu's immediate release from detention even as it quashed the charge against him.

Dissatisfied with the decision, FG took the matter before the Supreme Court, even as it persuaded the appellate court to suspend the execution of the judgement, pending the determination of its appeal.

While deciding the appeal, the Supreme Court, on December 15, 2023, vacated the judgement of the appellate court and gave FG the nod to try the IPOB leader on the subsisting seven-count charge.

Justice Nyako had last Monday, fixed June 19 for continuation of the trial.

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