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FG Takes Kanu to Supreme Court, Says IPOB Leader a Flight Risk

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The Federal Government has filed seven grounds of appeal against the October 13 Court of Appeal judgment which discharged the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

It asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment and restore the charge against the respondent to be tried at the trial court.

The government, in a motion on notice in support of the appeal, is also seeking a stay of execution of the judgment of the court presided over by Justice Jummai Sankey, pending the hearing and final determination of its appeal, noting that the IPOB leader posed a flight risk.

The notice of appeal dated October 18 was signed by the Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mohammed Abubakar, Assistant Chief State Counsel, D. Kaswe and A. Aluko and Senior State Counsel, G. Nweze, Department of Public Prosecution, Federal Ministry of Justice.

The appellant averred that the appellate court erred in law when it held that the trial court had no jurisdiction to try Kanu because of “the extraordinary rendition of the respondent.”

It stated, “There was no evidence led by the respondent before the court of the first instance and indeed before the court below to show how he was allegedly abducted and rendered to Nigeria as required by Section 139 of the Evidence Act, 2011 since he alleged that he was abducted without following due process of law.”

The appellant also contended that the court below erred when it held that the executive arm must not be allowed to benefit from the abduction of the respondent “when in fact and by its judgment, the respondent was allowed to benefit from his illegality of disobeying the orders of the court when he jumped bail and was rewarded with a discharge from the charges pending against him at the trial court thereby occasioning a miscarriage of justice against the state and the victims of the crimes perpetrated by the respondent.”

The government claimed that the appeal court was wrong by saying that how Kanu was brought back to the country can vitiate and indeed weaken the criminal charges of treason, treasonable felony and terrorism brought against him.

It added that the lower court made that decision without taking into account the fact that the nature of the “entry’’ of the respondent is not relevant in the determination of the charges against him.

The appellant further stated that the appeal court justices failed to be bound by established judicial precedent on the mode of “entry” of a defendant charged with the commission of an offence established by the Supreme Court.

The appeal court, the FG noted, misdirected itself when it relied heavily on the Organisation of African Unions Conventions on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and cases decided from foreign jurisdictions as against the substantive law covering the criminal procedure in Nigeria.

“The court below overlooked the submissions of the appellant with regards to the ACJA, 2015 which takes its taproot from the grundnorm Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to the effect that it is the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 that governs the trial of every Nigerian charged with the commission of a crime, this failure occasioned the miscarriage of justice,’’ the appeal notice read.

The FG further argued that the court below erred in law when it discharged the respondent of the offences mentioned in counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15 bordering on terrorism offences contained in the amended charge dated January 14, 2022, and retained by the trial court for want of jurisdiction.

The appeal observed that the appellate court was completely silent and closed its eyes to the obvious fact of the issues which predate the rendition of the respondent because he was standing trial for conspiracy, and treasonable felony terrorism before his escape.

“If the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal had taken into consideration the act of illegality of the respondent in jumping bail and the corresponding duty of the appellant to ensure his presence in court, the decision of the court would have been different,’’ the appeal read.

In an affidavit, Loveme Odubo of the Department of Public Prosecution, Federal Ministry of Justice, stated that Kanu has a history of jumping bail and may be difficult to secure if the appeal was not granted.

The affidavit read, “That the respondent is a flight risk person given his previous antecedent of jumping bail while standing trial.

“The respondent is a dual citizen of both Nigeria and Britain which will make it easy for him to move out of Nigeria and escape justice. That the respondent’s presence will be difficult to secure should the judgment of the court below is not overturned and set aside by the Supreme Court.

“There is a need to stay the execution of the judgment of this honourable court to avoid a situation where the judgment of the Supreme Court will be overreached and rendered nugatory.’’

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Cyril Ramaphosa Re-elected As South African President

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The South African Parliament has, during its first sitting of the 7th Parliament on Friday, re-elected Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa as the President of the Republic of South Africa. He has been re-elected to serve a second term as the President.

Thia was hours after his African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance (DA) agreed to form a coalition, setting aside their rivalry in a historic governance pact.

In terms of the Constitution, the National Assembly must, at its first sitting after its election, elect a woman or a man from among its members to be the President.

Mr. Ramaphosa was elected with 283 votes against Mr Julius Malema with 44 votes. The Constitution states that when elected President, a person ceases to be a member of the National Assembly and, within five days, must assume office by swearing or affirming faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution.

The President-elect will be inaugurated during a ceremony in Pretoria which, according to the Constitution, should take place within five days after the President’s election.

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Finidi George Resigns As Super Eagles Coach

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has resigned his appointment,  according to a post by ex-Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye on X.com on Saturday.

He wrote, “News just in. Finidi George #FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his #NGSuperEagles manager position.”

The resignation follows the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) decision to appoint a foreign coach to oversee him, despite his recent appointment in May.

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Appeal Court Insists Amaewhule, 26 Others Not Members of Rivers House of Assembly

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Friday, refused to set aside a judgment ordering the removal of Martins Chike Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Justice Charles Wali of the Rivers State High Court, Port Harcourt, on May 30 declared the seats of the 27 lawmakers who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in October last year vacant.

The judge, who delivered the ruling in a suit filed by the Speaker of the Assembly, Victor Oko Jumbo, and two others, also restrained Amaewhule from parading himself as Speaker of the Assembly.

Dissatisfied with the verdict, the aggrieved lawmakers approached the appellate court to set it aside.

However, at a virtual hearing of the matter on Friday, a three-member panel of the appellate court declared that the reversal of the lower court ruling would amount to pre-judging the appeal currently before it.

The panel, thereafter, fixed June 20 for the hearing of the appeal filed by the lawmakers in their quest to regain their seats in the Assembly.

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