The Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia state, on Wednesday, ordered the Federal Government to pay N500 million as damages to the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, for forcefully abducting and renditioning him from Kenya in June last year.
The court also ordered the government to pay Kanu N500 million as damages for his illegal abduction and violation of his fundamental human rights. In the suit filed through his counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, Kanu had challenged his extradition from Kenya by the “agents of the federal government”. Nnamdi Kanu alleged that he was kidnapped from Kenya and brought back to Nigeria to stand trial. He argued that the federal government should be required to show the legal document or authority that served as the foundation for his “abduction or extraordinary rendition”.
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“My client remains an unlawfully expelled individual, and cannot be subjected to any trial because he was unlawfully renditioned,” the lawyer said. He also said the United Nations commission on human rights had already directed the Nigerian authorities to unconditionally release Nnamdi Kanu, and compensate him for the violation of fundamental human rights. Among several reliefs sought, Kanu prayed the court for “an order mandating and compelling the respondents to pay the sum of N25,000,000,000.00 to the applicant, being monetary damages claimed by the applicant against the respondents jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property and other damages suffered by the applicant as a result of the infringements of applicant’s fundamental rights by the respondents”.
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An order is also sought to halt Kanu’s prosecution and restore him to the status quo before his rendition on June 19, 2021. Delivering a ruling in the suit on Wednesday, Evelyn Anyadike, the presiding judge, agreed that the extradition of Kanu from Kenya without recourse to the legal process was a flagrant abuse of his fundamental human rights.
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