A Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, on Friday, struck out a suit filed by leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, against the Chief Judge, Justice John Tsoho.
Justice Inyang Ekwo struck out the suit following an oral application made by Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, to withdraw the suit.
When the matter was mentioned, Ejiofor, who held the brief of Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, indicated his interest to withdraw the case, following which the judge struck out the matter.
Kanu, through his lawyer had filed the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/550/22 against the chief judge and chief registrar of FHC.
In the originating summons dated and filed on April 25, Kanu sought an order declaring the Federal High Court Practice Directions on Trial of Terrorism Cases, 2022 unconstitutional, ultra vires, invalid, null and void.
He had also prayed for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the court or its agents from applying and enforcing the provisions of the practice directions, among other reliefs.
Ejiofor, while speaking with journalists shortly after the court sitting, said they initially believed that the 2022 Practice Directions on Terrorism Matters were principally put in place to undermine Kanu’s case.
“But on a wider consultation, and when we also discovered that those provisions may not apply to our case, we decided to withdraw it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has urged Justice Ekwo to dismiss a sister suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/462/22 dated April 6 but filed April 7 by Kanu’s lawyer, Chief Ozekhome, for being incompetent.
While Kanu is the applicant in the fresh suit, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, are 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.
In a counter affidavit filed on May 31 and deposed to by Thomas Etah, a litigation officer in the office of the AGF, Abubakar Malami,SAN, said neither the Federal Government nor the Minister invited any security agency to invade Kanu’s residence, “destroy it or even kill any creatures therein on or about Sept. 10 to Sept. 14, 2017, or at any particular dates thereafter on account of the facts giving rise to the plaintiff’s complaints in the paragraphs 7, 8, 9 and 10 of his supporting affidavit.”
He said rather, the security agents have been vigilant and are always ready to stand to protect the sovereignty, in dissolution and internal security of the country at any point of time.
He further said that having been granted bail by the court in the criminal case he is standing trial for, Kanu jumped the bail and illegally sneaked into Kenya in his attempt to escape from Justice.
According to Malami, the plaintiff (Kanu) was not legally admitted into Kenya as he has no any legal travelling documents for entry into Kenya.
He said that the security agents did not violently accosted and brutally abducted Kanu in Kenya, nor handcuffed, blindfolded and bundled him into any vehicle and sped away as alleged.
“Upon his interception, the security agents of the defendants took the plaintiff to their security facility where he was informed of the need for him to be taken back to Nigeria to go and continue facing his criminal trial,” he said.
He said Kanu was not entitled to be shown any warrant of arrest or warrant of extradition on the ground that his entry into Kenya was not lawful but an attempt to escape or hide from Justice over a criminal trial which he has already been facing here in Nigeria prior to his attempted escape from justice.
Malami said that after his interception, Kanu was neither beaten nor tortured by the security agents.
He said Kanu’s interception and return to Nigeria did not amount to extraordinary rendition as claimed.
Kanu is praying the court for a declaration that pursuant to Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP A9 LFN 2004, his forcible abduction, expulsion or extraordinary rendition from Kenya to Nigeria by the defendants without a decision taken in accordance with the laws of Kenya is illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional and amounts to a gross violation of the international Humanitarian Rights of the Plaintiff.
When the matter was mentioned, Ejiofor, who appeared for Kanu, informed that a motion seeking for an extension of time was filed on Oct. 4.
And after it was not opposed to by Simon Enoch, counsel for the Federal Government, the judge granted it as prayed.
Consequently, Ekwo adjourned the matter until Dec. 14 for hearing.