The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Monday, adjourned indefinitely the suit filed by the federal government against the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Justice Binta Nyako, in a short ruling, adjourned the matter sine die (indefinitely) to await the decision of the Supreme Court.
The development followed an oral application by Mr Kanu’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome, who prayed the court to adjourn the matter indefinitely pending the hearing and determination of the appeal filed by the regime at the Supreme Court.
When the matter was called, a lawyer to the federal government, M. B. Abubakar, informed that Mr Kanu, the defendant, was not in court.
He said a State Security Service lawyer, Idowu Awo, was in court to explain what transpired. Addressing the court, Mr Awo said the IPOB leader did not object to coming to court.
“But when I called the office, they said the defendant declined to come to court, and all entreaties to make him come were unsuccessful,” the lawyer claimed.
Mr Ozekhome, who expressed surprise at the development, said Mr Kanu had always told him about his eagerness to appear in court following the appeal by the prosecution against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the remaining seven counts preferred against him.
The lawyer, therefore, informed Ms Nyako about the Appeal Court judgment on October 13, which quashed the remaining seven counts against Mr Kanu.
“On April 8 2022, this court delivered a ruling on the preliminary objection will file challenging the jurisdiction of this court on the 15 counts filed against the defendant, and the court struck out eight counts from the charge,” stated the IPOB leader’s counsel.
Mr Ozekhome, who gave a certified true copy of the judgment to the court registrar, said the court specifically ordered that Mr Kanu “is prohibited from being detained or tried on the counts seven which the FHC retained.”
He explained that the prosecution filed an appeal before the Supreme Court in appeal number: SC/CR/1394/2022 after the Court of Appeal also granted its application to stay the execution of the judgment on October 28.
He also mentioned that his team appealed against the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the stay of execution before the Supreme Court and cross-appealed against the judgment of the appellate court.
He prayed the judge to adjourn the matter indefinitely pending the hearing and the determination of the appeal.
The judge consequently adjourned the matter sine die (indefinitely).
The judge also adjourned indefinitely the fresh seven-count charge filed by the federal government against the IPOB leader and an originating motion filed on October 21 by Mr Ozekhome on Mr Kanu’s behalf to demand N100 billion damages against the regime for non-compliance with the order of the Appeal Court discharging Mr Kanu, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal before the apex court.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja had, on October 13, quashed the terrorism charge the regime preferred against the IPOB leader.
The court, in its judgment, discharged him of the seven-count charge pending against him before the FHC, Abuja, on the grounds that the Buhari regime forcibly repatriated Mr Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria last year June to face terrorism charges.
On October 28, the Court of Appeal halted the execution of its judgment which freed Mr Kanu of terrorism charges, following the regime’s appeal filed at the Supreme Court.