The Supreme Court has overturned a lower court’s judgment that dismissed terrorism charges against Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra. The apex court deemed the court of appeal’s decision as incorrect, stating that the trial court could proceed despite the prosecution’s infringement on Kanu’s rights.


    The Supreme Court


    In Justice Garba Mohammed’s prepared judgment, the court criticized the invasion of Kanu’s residence, labeling it irresponsible. The court emphasized that there is no law in the country preventing a trial based on the violation of a suspect’s rights.

    Justice Mohammed questioned the rationale behind invading a suspect’s house to obtain evidence, emphasizing that such actions should not deter the court from addressing the alleged offense. Despite condemning the violation of Kanu’s rights, the court asserted that legal proceedings should continue, and the rule of law must be upheld.

    The judgment highlighted the need for Nigeria to uphold its image and adhere to the rule of law, expressing disapproval of irresponsible actions, such as the invasion of Kanu’s residence. The Supreme Court affirmed that no legislation stripped the trial court of jurisdiction to proceed with Kanu’s case, despite the government’s illegal actions.

    Nnamdi Kanu was initially arrested in 2015 during the administration of former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.


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    Following his initial arrest in 2015 and subsequent bail in April 2017, Nnamdi Kanu left the country after his residence in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, was invaded by the Nigerian military in September 2017. In June 2021, Kanu was re-arrested in Kenya and returned to Nigeria.

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    Upon his return, he faced charges in the Federal High Court in Abuja, including treasonable felony, conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, illegal importation of radio equipment, and defamation of former President Muhammadu Buhari. The charges were later withdrawn and replaced with a fresh 14-count charge, reduced to seven by the court.


    Supreme Court Kanu

    In October 2022, the Court of Appeal in Abuja ruled that Kanu’s rendition to the country violated the extradition treaty and breached his fundamental human rights. The appellate court also struck out terrorism charges against Kanu and ordered his release from the DSS facility.

    In response, the Federal Government appealed the ruling and obtained a stay of execution order from the Supreme Court. On November 3, 2022, Kanu, through his lawyers, filed an appeal against the stay of execution order at the Supreme Court. Dissatisfied with the appellate court’s decision, the Federal Government also filed an appeal at the Supreme Court.