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Wednesday 29 November 2023

10 Reasons Why The Supreme Court Must Uphold Justice, In The Case Of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

  10 Reasons Why The Supreme Court Must Uphold Justice, In The Case Of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi Kanu

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) - a self-determination movement advocating for the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra, was kidnapped from Kenya by Nigerian security agents in June 2021. The operatives and their co-conspirators tortured the IPOB leader and then extraordinarily rendition him to Nigeria.

Blindfolded, manacled and severely tortured for eight consecutive days, Kanu was bundled to Nigeria without fulfillment of legal extradition proceedings as required by existing local and International protocols. And, has since been illegally and unconstitutionally detained in the Nigerian Department Of State Services (DSS) solitary confinement, despite several court orders, particularly the Appellate Court which summarily discharged and acquitted him of all charges on the 13th October, 2022. As well as the six months’ ultimatum issued by the United Nations Working Group on Human Rights few months earlier, directing the Federal government to release him unconditionally and compensate him accordingly for gross human rights violations.

However, the Nigerian government has continued to show defiance and contempt, by flouting these orders made by various competent court jurisdictions as well as the objective opinion of the UN working group. Instead, it went on to approach the Supreme Court for appeal – which has scheduled to make final ruling on the case on the 15th of December, 2023 – even though it did not obey the judgements of the subsequent lower Courts.

Hence, it is imperative to outline from the forgoing the fundamental reasons why the Supreme Court is legally adjured to uphold justice as obtained with its peripheral wings [lower courts], in full accordance with the stipulations of the Nigerian constitution as well as International law, and free the IPOB Leader through its heralded judgement come the 15th Of December.


The principle of self-determination is imbibed and elaborated in various international charters. Most notably the United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples - Resolution 1514(XV), adopted by the General Assembly in 1960. Article 1 of both International Covenants on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR), and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), African Charter on People's Rights - which Nigeria is signatory to, recognize the right to self-determination as a basic inalienable right of Indigenous people. Therefore, it behooves the Supreme Court to take cognizance of the provisional legalities of the above, and why the agitations and demands of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the IPOB movement are protected under International law for Self-determination.


The Federal government committed a gross blunder, by failing to adhere to the extant laws on extradition when it forcibly kidnapped and renditioned Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria two years ago. This singular act strips the Nigerian government and its judiciary the jurisdictional authority to prosecute Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Nigeria. Thus, a benchmark for reference, by which the Supreme Court is obliged to acknowledge while administering its judgement on the 15th. 


Recall that on 13th October, 2022. The Appeal Court quashed all charges brought up against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government and went further to discharge and acquit him. However, this judicial order was never obeyed by the federal government setting a dangerous precedent on the independence of the Nigerian judiciary. The Supreme Court is therefore, entreated by judicial protocols to uphold justice as with the Appellate court.


With regards to several sections of the Nigerian constitution which hitherto directed and empowered the Nigerian judiciary to ensure diligence and competence in discharging its constitutional judicial responsibilities by upholding justice and fairness. It is vital that the supreme court ensures the fair dispensary of justice in the case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as guaranteed by the law.


It is no news that since the extraordinary rendition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu there has been an upsurge of various criminal groups especially in the Southeast, who readily cites the incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu as the reason behind their menace against the Innocent law-abiding citizens as well as attacks on security operatives, even though he [Nnamdi Kanu] and the IPOB movement have consistently dissociated themselves from the criminal activities of these groups of recruited agent provocateurs and Trojan horses, their menace have continued nonetheless. Hence, it is as a matter of security urgency that the supreme court frees the IPOB leader, so as to disarm the criminals of their pretext used for nefarious operations, and to enable the easy identification of those wreaking havoc in region.


The Nigerian judiciary is obliged under the existing international standards, such as UN Conventions, African Charters, Treaties and Covenants, including the Nigerian Constitution to comply to these tenets and principles guiding national and international judicial systems. Also, it requires compliance to upholding the judicial values upon which the judicial system was established. These core judicial values include: Judicial Independence, Judicial Impartiality, Judicial Integrity, Judicial Propriety and Equality. The Supreme Court is thereby expected to manifest it's ethical and professional compliance to these judicial principles by releasing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally.


The Supreme Court under section 33-46 of the Fundamental Human Rights enshrined in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights; is by these laws compelled to protect the fundamental human rights of, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whose rights including rights to independent medical healthcare after his tragic ordeal in Kenya has been violated by the Federal government and its Security agencies. Thus his unconditional release is vital to enable him undergo rigorous, necessary surgery to ascertain the level of damage inflicted on his person, within the past two years of physical and psychological torture in solitary confinement.


The principle of Rule of Law and its supremacy in constitutional governance cannot be overemphasized in this regard. Therefore, in compliance to upholding the supremacy of rule of law in Nigeria, the Supreme Court under all subsisting constitutional laws and provisions; is obliged to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally as a practical testament to the prevalence of the above.


From ab initio, abducted and detained IPOB members at all times, when charged to court have continued to secure overwhelming victories across various Nigerian courts through the professionalism of the IPOB legal team. This underscores the nobility of their cause and the methods through which they pursue their quest for Self-determination. Thus, absolving IPOB from all terrorist and criminal inclinations labelled against them by the Federal Government, as no Nigerian court has ever convicted any IPOB member, instead IPOB continues to sweep through judicial battles in victory. This antecedent is also a prerequisite for the supreme court to look upon and uphold the judgement of the Appellate Court.


Nigeria came under international disrepute after the Federal government crowned her woes with the extraordinary rendition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu without any extradition proceedings, as well as the defiance to the directive of the UN Working Group. These blatant show of contempt to orders, directives from reputable Global Institutions brought Nigeria to the centre stage of international disdain; requiring a bailout from such public show of shame. It therefore becomes a national imperative bidding on the Supreme Court of Nigeria to intervene and aim at redeeming Nigeria image from further ridicule and disrepute which the executive arm has misguidedly imposed on it. And this could commence with the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

It is important to emphasize that the fate and future of the Nigerian statehood as presently constituted is invariably dependent on the Nigerian Supreme Court and its decision come the 15th of December, 2023. The preservation of law and order in the enclave, as well as the already depleting influence of the Judiciary is sole determined by how impartial their submission appears. Will the Nigerian Supreme Court allow the state to snowball into chaos and anarchy, when she wields the might to prevent such a catastrophe? 

Well, only time shall tell and that time is almost upon us. May History and posterity judge all for their deeds and contributions.

Written: By Kelechi Chukwuezi Augustine

Edited: Enenienwite Ikechukwu

For: Family Writers Press International.

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