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Kanu goes to Supreme Court, accuses appeal court of miscarriage of justice

From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja

The detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has filed an appeal before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, challenging the October 28, 2022, decision of the Court of Appeal, granting a stay of execution of its order that discharged and acquitted him.

Gavel International recalled that the appellate court had on October 13, 2022 ordered the unconditional release of Kanu, having quashed all the 15-count charge levelled against him by the Federal Government.

The three-man panel led by Justice Jummai Sankey in its judgment, also faulted the rendition of Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria and consequently dismissed the terrorism charges against him.
Apparently miffed by the decision, the FG filed an application for stay of execution of the judgement, which another three-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsamani granted.

The Federal Government had applied that the execution of the judgment be suspended pending the resolution of an appeal it lodged at the Supreme Court.

Justice Tsamani had in a brief ruling held that the counter affidavit filed against the Federal Government application by Kanu’s legal team was “misleading”.

Also, not satisfied with the development, Kanu through his legal team, led by Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, filed an appeal predicated on three grounds at the apex court. By the appeal dated November 3, the appellant (Kanu) is seeking an order allowing the appeal, and setting aside in it’s entirety, the decision of the Court of Appeal, made on October 28, 2022, staying the execution of the judgement delivered on October 13, 2022.

In addition, Kanu wants an order of the Supreme Court restoring the efficacy of the judgement of the court below which has not in any way been set aside by a higher court.

Meanwhile, court process sighted by our Correspondent on Thursday, stated that the Appellant is in custody of the Respondent and wished to be present at the hearing of the appeal.
In ground one of his notice of appeal, Kanu posited that the court below erred in law when it proceeded to hear and determine an application for stay of execution of judgment in a criminal appeal, brought under Order 6 Rule 1 of the Court of Appeal Rules, 2021, and Section 17 of the Court of Appeal Act of 2004, and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

On ground two, the appellant submitted that the court below erred in law when it failed to properly assess or evaluate or appraise the evidence led by, and on behalf of the Appellant, by Ifeanyi Ejiofor Esq. “The court below failed to properly evaluate and ascribe proper evidential or probative value to the Appellant’s Counter Affidavit filed on the 21st day of October, 2022, Kanu stated.

The Appellant further contended that the fact that a notice of appeal has substantial and arguable grounds of appeal, is not a special circumstance to warrant the grant of a stay of execution.

Kanu’s lawyer argued that “it is not every case where grounds of appeal raise point or points of law, that stay of execution will be granted.
“That by staying execution of a judgment that was essentially declaratory, the lower court which ought to defend the integrity of the judicial process literally overruled itself and vacated its own judgement even before the apex court has heard it” Ozekhome submitted.

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