A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday ordered the Federal Government to immediately release the detained Pro-Biafra leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu, who had been in the custody of the Department of State Service, DSS for over three months over allegations of terrorism and belonging to an unlawful assembly, approached the court for the enforcement of his fundamental human right.
Delivering its ruling on the application yesterday, Justice Adeniyi Ademola held that the continued detention of Kanu without arraignment in a court of competent jurisdiction was contrary to Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Consequently, he ordered for Kanu’s unconditional release by the DSS.
“This court’s order of November 10, 2015 is hereby set aside. The applicant, having regard to confirmation made by the prosecution that the applicant has no charge before any court of law in this country, this court hereby releases the applicant unconditionally,” Justice Ademola held.
Nigerian Pilot recalled that Chief Magistrate, Shauibu Usman at Wuse in Abuja had on Wednesday thrown out a one-count criminal charge brought against the Director of Radio Biafra and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government.
The trial magistrate in the ruling discontinued the trial of Kanu, following an application to that effect filed and argued by the DSS counsel, Mr. Moses Idakwo.
Usman’s ruling is in line with the request by the DSS to drop the charges against the Biafran activist in order to enable them pursue his trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja that has original jurisdiction on terrorism.
The DSS had argued that the Magistrate Court lacked the jurisdiction, since they had obtained the Federal High Court order to detain him for 90 days, based on terrorism charges.
Before the case was struck out, Kanu had been put on trial on criminal conspiracy, managing and belonging to an unlawful society and criminal
Intimidation, contrary to Section 97, 97B and 397 of the Penal Code.
According to DSS report, the accused formed an unlawful society with the purpose of bringing into being a Republic of Biafra. He was therefore accused of proclaiming himself leader of the Republic of Biafra and establishing a Radio of Biafra.
Kanu was also alleged to have appointed himself Commander of the
Loyal Forces of Biafra and was broadcasting to the whole world the
dire consequences of the government and people of Nigeria will suffer
should they attempt to hinder the actualization of the Republic of
In a motion on notice argued before Justice Adeniyi Ademola, Kanu had applied for an order of the court admitting him to bail and also directing the DSS to obey an order of the Chief Magistrate Court which had earlier granted him bail in the motion argued by his counsel Mr. Egechukwu Obetta.
Kanu claimed that the order of the Federal High court that permitted the SSS to detain him for 90 days pending the investigation of terrorism allegations against him was obtained fraudulently by the SSS.
The grounds of Kanu’s application was among others, that the exparte motion dated and filed on Oct 26 by the DSS and upon which the permission to detain him was granted was an abuse of court process brought in complete bad fate.
The detained Biafran leader alleged that the DSS did not reveal to the Federal High Court the fact of the pendency of a criminal charge already brought against him by the DSS in the Abuja Chief Magistrate Court.
Kanu also claimed that the magistrate where he was arraigned by DSS was a creation of statute and recognised under the law and that all his decisions and proceedings ought to be binding on all parties until set aside on appeal.
The Biafran activist in the grant of his application also claimed that the allegations of sponsoring and financing terrorism against him was a bare allegation and not supported with any trade of evidence that he was preparing to take up arms against the Nigerian nation.
Kanu further claimed that his continued detention in spite of the order of the Magistrate that released him on bail was a trespass and in violation of his basic freedom as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution.
He therefore urged the court to set aside the order that he be detained for 90 days on the ground that Section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2003 and any other provision which empowers the court to make order for his detention or any other person beyond 24 hours without trial was against the constitution.

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