Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Thursday, said the judgement of the Appeal Court of Abuja yesterday meant that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu ‘is discharged but not acquitted’.
Recall that the appellate court, led by Justice Jummai Hanatu, ruled that the “Federal Government flagrantly violated the law when it forcefully renditioned Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial; and that such extra-ordinary rendition, without adherence to due process of the law, was a gross violation of all international conventions, protocols and guidelines that Nigeria is signatory to, as well as a breach of the Appellant’s fundamental human rights.”
Malami, in a release, said the only issue that was determined by the higher court was extradition.
“For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted.
“Consequently, the appropriate legal options before the authorities will be exploited and communicated accordingly to the public. The decision handed down by the court of appeal was on a single issue that borders on rendition.
“Let it be made clear to the general public that other issues that predate rendition on the basis of which Kanu jumped bail remain valid issues for judicial determination.
“The Federal Government will consider all available options open to us on the judgment on rendition while pursuing the determination of pre-rendition issues,” Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, special assistant to the AGF, said in a statement.
Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, counsel to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, however, disagreed with the AGF.
Ozekhome told Channels Televisions that, “Nnamdi Kanu was set free and discharged by the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court has said such a discharge amounts to discharge and acquittal.
“My take on it is that it will amount to persecution and no longer prosecution.”
According to him, he would serve the Certified True Copies of the judgment on the AGF and the Department of State Services, thereby asking for his release by Friday.