Abia State High Court, Umuahia, has granted leave to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to serve the Federal Government and seven other respondents processes in a fundamental rights enforcement application he filed Mr. Justice K. C. Okereke.
The suit marked HIH/FR 14/2021, which was filed on Kanu’s behalf by his Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor. Ejimakor filed the action through a motion ex-parte pursuant to Orders 3, 4 and 5 Rules of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.
Respondents in the suit are the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Chief of Army Staff, Brigade Commander, 14 Brigade, Nigerian Army Ohafia, Abia State, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police Abia State, Director-General, State Security Services and Abia State Director, State Security Services.
Ejimakor told The Guardian that the material issue in the matter was the unbroken chain of infringements that began with the 2017 extrajudicial attempt on Kanu’s life in Abia State; his involuntary flight to safety/exile; his abduction in Kenya and his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria.
He said: “These supervening issues have complicated Kanu’s prosecution and thus must be judicially dispensed with before any further prosecutorial action can proceed”.
He urged the court to declare that the military invasion of the applicant’s building and premises at Isiama, Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia on September 10, 2017 by the respondents or their agents is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the applicant’s fundamental right to life, dignity of his person, his personal liberty and fair hearing as guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
He also wants the court to declare that the arrest of Kanu in Kenya by the respondents or their agents without due process of law is arbitrary, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the applicant’s fundamental right against arbitrary arrest, to his personal liberty and to fair hearing as enshrined and guaranteed under the Constitution.
“The torture and detention of the applicant in Kenya by the respondents or their agents is illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the his fundamental right against torture and to fair hearing, as guaranteed under the Constitution.
“A declaration that the expulsion of the applicant from Kenya to Nigeria by the respondents or their agents and their consequent detention and planned prosecution of the applicant in charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 (Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Nnamdi Kanu) is illegal, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of his fundamental right against unlawful expulsion and detention, and to fair hearing, as guaranteed under the Constitution,” he prayed.
Ejimakor consequently prayed the court to make some orders, namely to restrain the respondents or their agents from taking any further step in the prosecution of the applicant in charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015.
He urged the court to compel the respondents or their agents to release the applicant from detention and restore his liberty, which should be his state of being as of June 19, 2021; and to send him to his country of domicile (Britain) to await the outcome of any formal request for his lawful extradition to Nigeria.
He also prayed the court to compel the respondents to issue an official letter of apology to the applicant for the infringement of his fundamental rights and publish it in three national dailies.
The applicant also prayed for an order, compelling the respondents to jointly and severally pay the sum of N5 billion to him, being monetary damages for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological and other damages he suffered as a result of the infringements of his fundamental rights.
Justice Okereke, who is a vacation judge, while ordering that the applicant puts all the respondents on notice, fixed September 21, 2021 as the return date for the motion on notice to be heard. He ruled that the applicant should serve the respondents all the court processes through substituted service.