A Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, has ordered the Federal Government to pay the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, N500m as damages following his illegal abduction and human rights abuse.
The court also ordered the Federal Government to return him to Kenya, from where he was extradited to Nigeria on June 19, 2021.
The court presided over by Justice E.N. Anyadike, insisted that the extradition of Kanu from Kenya without recourse to the legal process was a flagrant abuse of his fundamental human rights.
Kanu, through his counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, had approached the court challenging his extradition from Kenya on June 19, 2022.
Ejimakor told the court that the suit was sui generis (of a special class) and was primarily aimed at redressing the unlawful expulsion or extraordinary rendition of Kanu, which is a clear violation of his fundamental rights under Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the verdict, Ejimakor said the judgment showed that the court is still the common man’s last hope.
Meanwhile, Kanu is demanding the payment of N100bn in reparation for the violation of his rights.
In a suit filed at the Federal High Court Abuja through his legal team, led by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the IPOB leader wants a declaration that the Federal Government’s refusal to release him from detention despite the order of the Court of Appeal is illegal, unlawful, oppressive, unconscionable, and unconstitutional.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of the Federation, the State Security Service and its Director General are cited as 1st to 4th respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1945/2022.
Kanu says the suit is predicated on the refusal of the Federal Government to obey the appellate court’s judgment delivered on October 13, which discharged him of the terrorism charge brought against him and thus a violation of his fundamental rights.
Kanu is also seeking N100bn in compensatory and exemplary damages from the respondents for the gross violation of his human rights to dignity, personal liberty, and freedom of movement.
In addition, Kanu is praying the court for an order directing the respondents to tender an unreserved public apology in two national dailies.