THE Federal Government has said it will explore other legal options to upturn the Appeal Court judgment which freed the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.
Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami said this in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, on Thursday.
The AGF said the court did not go into the substantive case, which was ongoing before Kanu jumped bail.
He hinted that the court’s verdict, which centred on the illegal rendition of Kanu, would be appealed.
“For the avoidance of doubt and by the verdict of the court, Kanu was only discharged and not acquitted,” he said.
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.”
The ICIR had reported how a three-member panel of the appellate court in Abuja on Thursday struck out all the remaining seven charges against Kanu.
The court ruling followed Justice Binta Nyako’s judgment in April, which struck out eight of the 15 counts in the charge preferred against the IPOB leader by the Nigerian government..
The judge, however, held that Kanu had some questions to answer in counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 15 of the charge.
But Kanu, through his team of lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome, filed an appeal to quash the remaining seven counts for lack of merit.
In its ruling, the appellate court agreed with Kanu’s counsel that the IPOB leader was illegally abducted and extra-ordinarily renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria, against both international and local laws.
The panel led by Justice Jummai Hanatu also held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to handle the charges against Kanu, as he was not properly arraigned before the court.
“By the illegal abduction and extra-ordinary rendition of the appellant, there was a clear violation of the respondent (Federal Government) to international treaties, conventions, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights”, the court held.
The Court of Appeal further held that the offences Kanu was alleged to have committed happened in Kenya and not in Nigeria.