The Abuja Court of Appeal on Friday granted a stay of execution on its decision to release Nnamdi Kanu, detained leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The application submitted by the federal government was approved by the appellate court pending the hearing and decision of an appeal before the supreme court, according to a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Haruna Tsanami.
Kanu has been detained since he was returned from Kenya in June 2021. The IPOB leader was subsequently arraigned on a 15-count charge.
On April 8, the judge dismissed eight of the charges. On October 13, the court of appeal later overturned the remaining seven counts.
A three-member panel of the appellate court led by Hanatu Sankey found that the federal government had violated the respondent’s rights by disobeying international conventions and treaties and the Terrorism Act.
The trial court was further declared to lack jurisdiction to continue Kanu’s trial due to the illegal and forced rendition of the appellant.
The IPOB leader has not yet been released by the federal government. Instead, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government appealed the decision of the appellate court to the Supreme Court.
Additionally, it submitted a request to halt the judgment of the appellate court from taking effect.
The court of appeal decided on the application and agreed to the government’s request.
However, in order to facilitate a prompt resolution of the case, the appellate court mandated that the federal government transmit the appeal record and its decision to the supreme court within seven days.
Kanu has since filed a new lawsuit, with the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/1945/2022 and the date October 21, contesting his continued detention.
As compensation for the alleged violation of his fundamental human rights, he is also seeking N100 billion.