Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja has described the last year’s arrest and repatriation of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from Kenya by the Nigerian government as legal.
The judge made this submission while dismissing Mr Kanu’s suit in which he claimed N50 billion against the federal government for allegedly repatriating him from Kenya to Nigeria as illegally, without following a formal extradition procedure.
In her ruling, Mrs Nyako held that his repatriation to Nigeria could not be said to be illegal when there was a “surviving bench warrant” for the IPOB leader’s arrest.
The judge had, in March 2019, ordered Mr Kanu’s arrest after adjudging him to have jumped bail bringing his trial on charges of treasonable felony to a halt.
Mrs Nyako held that the IPOB leader’s arrest in Kenya and repatriation to Nigeria was in compliance with her order in 2018 for Mr Kanu’s arrest to face trial.
“There is a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant (Mr Kanu). He is a fugitive that is wanted in court. The bench warrant survives until he is brought to court,” Mrs Nyako held.
Earlier in her ruling on Mr Kanu’s preliminary objection challenging the 15 amended charges of terrorism and treasonable felony filed against him, Mrs Nyako struck out eight of the 15 counts charge that borders on treasonable felony and terrorism.
She ruled that eight of the charges had not established any tangible offence against Mr Kanu.
The judge also dismissed the defence team’s objection over the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the suit.