By Taiwo Ajala
This is not the news members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) want to hear following the discharge of the leader of the organisation, Nnamdi Kanu by the Appeal Court.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, while reacting to the judgement said the accused was not out of the woods yet as he was not acquainted but only discharged.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Dr. Umar Jibril Gwandu, Mr Malami said the appeal court only discharged Kanu and did not acquit him.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has received the news of the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the trial of Nnamdi Kanu. 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 determination of pre-rendition issues.”
Kanu replies Malami: You lie
However, Nnamdi Kanu through his counsel disagreed with the Minister of Justice, saying the Federal Government cannot prefer other charges against him after his discharge.
His Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, said it is unconstitutional for the government to do so.
Ejimakor said: “The AGF is wrong. If the FG refuses or stalls on releasing Kanu merely because it desires to initiate further or new charges, it will amount to a holding charge situation which has been held as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
“Further, no new charge can stick against Kanu because, in the present circumstance, the extraordinary rendition is an abiding factor that has created a permanent barrier to his prosecution, at least for now.
“The judgment of the Court of Appeal has grandfathered a continuing lack of prosecutorial jurisdiction, which can only be overcome by a few things I am not at liberty to disclose here because it will amount to giving legal advice to the FG. Yet, before any further charge can have a toga of legality or constitutionality, Kanu has to be released first.”
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