Judge sets date to rule on Kanu’s motion challenging court’s jurisdiction

Nnamdi Kanou

Judge Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court, Abujahas set April 8 to rule on a preliminary objection filed by the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Kanu challenges the court’s jurisdiction to try him.

Judge Nyako set the date after Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, attorney for Kanu and Shuaibu Labaran, the prosecution attorney, adopted arguments for and against the defendant’s preliminary objection.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kanu is also challenging the validity of the amended 15-count charge brought against him by the Federal Government.

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In a short draft, Ozekhome, who urged the court to discharge and acquit his client of all charges against him, argued that the motion filed against Kanu lacked jurisdiction.

The lead attorney further argued that the amended 15-count indictment was “flawed and without merit”.

He said the request dismissed the court with jurisdiction to hear the charge.

Ozekhome adopted his request and asked the court to quash, strike out and dismiss all of the charges.

He asked the court to review the full reasons and affidavit, paragraphs 5-36, notice of preliminary objection, etc.

He said Kanu was illegally brought to Nigeria against his will and in clear violation of international protocol on extradition.

But the prosecution lawyer urged the court to dismiss Kanu’s motion as lacking merit and issue an order directing the prosecution to open its case.

“We wish to state emphatically and in particular at paragraphs 7, 8, 9, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 of the affidavit in support of the motion that they enter into the merits of the matter yet to be heard,” Labaran mentioned.

He argued that the court had jurisdiction to hear the case under the Criminal Justice Administration Act (ACJA).

Meanwhile, Ozekhome complained that despite the court order, the DSS refused Kanu to change clothes.

He also asked the court for an order, ordering the DSS to release his clients’ glasses so he could read with them.

The judge then asked the Director of Legal Services for the Department of State Services (DSS) why Kanu appeared in the same outfit despite the court order.

The officer told the court that although Kanu’s family members brought him a garment, the traditional garment brought was unacceptable to his office.

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He said the family came with a piece of clothing that has a lion’s heart that “offends our standard operating procedures”.

However, Nyako asked the accused; “Mr. Kanu, what kind of clothes do you want to wear?”

“I want to wear my people’s clothes,” “Isi Agu,” Kanu replied.

Responding quickly, the judge said, “That kind of cloth cannot be worn in my court.

She, however, insisted that Kanu receive other clothes before the next adjourned date.

The judge also ordered the security team to provide another bezel for Kanu, should the one taken from him be misplaced. (NOPE)

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