Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has asked the Federal High Court to dismiss the claimed charge of treasonable felony brought against him by the Federal Government.
The secessionist agitator pleaded not guilty to the new allegations against him, which included seven counts. He pointed out that the single element required to form and find guilt for incitement, according to the 7-Count Amended Charge, occurred totally and alone in London, United Kingdom, and not anyplace else in Nigeria.
He argued in his notice of preliminary objections that the alleged broadcasts did not occur at sea or in international waters adjacent to Nigeria, and that ‘I know for a fact that London, United Kingdom is a sovereign state under International Municipal Law and has municipal laws punishing criminal offences.’
Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s lawyer, also noted in his preliminary objections that “I also know as a fact that jurisdiction is extrinsic to adjudication.” Aliunde, it is bestowed on a Court. It isn’t fundamental.
‘That I know as a matter of fact, that as the elements necessary to constitute incitement in the alleged several broadcasts of the Defendant/Applicant occurred in London, United Kingdom, and Not in Nigeria, the Court in Nigeria has no jurisdiction to try the Defendant/Applicant on any charge founded on any such alleged incitement, even if the Defendant/Applicant enters within the geographical boundaries of Nigeria.’
The affidavit in support deposed to by Chinwe Umeche equally averred that ‘I also know as a matter of fact that the alleged offences for which the Defendant was charged, do not constitute terrorism offences in London, United Kingdom, where they were allegedly committed.
‘That I am further aware that there is an obligation on the Attorney General of the Federation, to maintain International co-operation for compliance with International Treaties on terrorism.
‘That the Defendant was abducted from Kenya and consequently extraordinarily rendered to Nigeria, without firstly subjecting him to extradition proceedings in Kenya. I know as a fact that this is a violation of all known international conventions and treaties on extradition.
‘That prosecuting the Defendant on the 7-count Amended would amount to allowing the Complainant to benefit from their illegality and wrongdoing.
‘That I am aware that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands, and no party should be allowed to benefit from his wrongdoing.
‘That I know as a matter of fact, that the extraordinary rendition of the Defendant robs the Honourable Court of the requisite jurisdiction of trying the Defendant on counts 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Amended Charge.
‘That counts 1, 2 and 3 of the Amended Charge were brought under a non-existent law.
‘That count 3 of the Amended Charge relates to an offence allegedly committed in Ubuluisiuzor, in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, which is outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Honourable Court.
‘That I know as a matter of fact that an offence can only be tried by a Court exercising jurisdiction over the place or area where the alleged offence was committed.
‘That counts 5, 6 and 7 of the Amended Charge do not disclose an offence known to law.
‘That there is no proof of evidence attached to the Amended Charge filed against the Defendant.
‘That even the purported proof of evidence to be relied upon by the prosecution does not disclose any prima facie case against the Defendant.
‘That from the list of Exhibits and witnesses attached to the Amended Charge, there is nothing relating to or linking Defendant to the 7-count charge, particularly counts 4, 5, 6 and 7 of thereof.
‘That no final pronouncement has been made on the purported proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra, as the said purported proscription, is a subject matter of Appeal in Appeal No: CA/A/214/2018, pending before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.
‘That the Defendant/Applicant cannot be arraigned anew or tried for an offence when the judgment that made a pronouncement on the instrument constituting a state of affairs as such an offence, is the subject matter of an appeal.
‘That it will be most unjust, painful, wicked and unfair for the Applicant to undergo the rigours of a full trial, when the Amended Charge as constituted, does not disclose a prima facie case against him.
‘That there is no ground for this Honorable Court to proceed with the trial against the Applicant in the circumstance of this case.
‘That the Court has the powers and a duty to stop a prosecution which on the facts creates abuse and injustice.
‘That it will be in the best interest of justice if the present 7-Count Amended Charge is struck out and or dismissed.’