peoples parliament

ECOWAS Court threatens to rule on Nnamdi Kanu's appeal

Nigeria

The Economic Com­munity of West Af­rican States (ECOW­AS) Court, sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday threat­ened to rule on the appeal filed against the Federal Gov­ernment by the detained lead­er of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Justice Friday Nwoke, who heard the case, expressed shock at the poor manner the Federal Government had re­sponded to it, especially its flimsy excuses for non-ap­pearance before the regional court on the matter.
Justice Nwoke warned that if the Nigerian government failed again to appear at the court’s next sitting, he would rule on the matter.
The court awarded the sum of N1 million as costs against the Federal Govern­ment to Kanu’s lawyer, to cov­er the expenses he incurred on his trip to Abuja for the pro­ceedings without the govern­ment’s appearance.
Only on Tuesday, the ECOWAS Court had award­ed the sum of N15 million as damages to detained former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) for his unjust incarceration by the Federal Government. The court also ordered the Gov­ernment to release Dasuki because his rights to freedom and property had been violat­ed by the Nigerian authorities.
Kanu, who has been in de­tention since October last year, approached the ECOWAS court to seek the enforcement of his fundamental rights.
At yesterday’s proceed­ings, the absence of the Fed­eral Government’s counsel compelled Justice Nwoke to accede to the request of Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s lawyer, for the court to award the sum as costs against the government.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) had applied for an adjournment on the grounds that it had an­other matter in Kaduna State to attend.
Ejiofor, who opposed the application, submitted that the request was a ploy to keep the detained IPOB leader in perpetual incarceration.
In his bench ruling, Jus­tice Nwoke held that the court case in Kaduna was not enough reason for the gov­ernment’s absence at the pro­ceedings.
He stressed that if the Fed­eral Government’s representa­tive fails to appear at the next adjourned date, the court would have no choice but to go ahead and deliver its final judgment in the case.
Consequently, Justice Nwoke adjourned the suit till November 8, 2016, for hear­ing and final judgment.
In the Dasuki’s case, the regional court held that his detention violated both na­tional and international laws on the rights of persons and citizens to freedom and lib­erty.
Justice Nwoke, who ruled on the case, imposed a fine of N15 million on Nigeria as compensatory damages to Dasuki for the deprivation of his freedom to liberty and property.
He dismissed the allega­tions of unlawful possession of firearms and econom­ic crimes used by the Feder­al Government to justify the detention of the ex-NSA.

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