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Breaking: I’m Ready To Negotiate With FG, Kanu Tells Court

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ABUJA–The detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has expressed his readiness to enter into a negotiation with the Federal Government.

Kanu took the position on Wednesday, at the resumed proceeding on the seven-count terrorism and treasonable felony charge the FG entered against him before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

 

His team of lawyers, led by Mr. Alloy Ejimakor, noted that Section 17 of the Federal High Court Act, made provision for amicable resolution of such matters.

Ejimakor, notified the court of the decision of his team to explore the option, after he moved two applications that were filed by his client.

Whereas one of the applications, sought the committal of the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Mr. Yusuf Bichi, to prison for contempt of court, the second motion challenged the jurisdiction of the court to continue with the trial.

According to Kanu’s lawyer, he would be left with no option but to activate section 17 of the FHC Act, should the court dismiss the two applications he moved on behalf of his client.

“Section 17 of Federal High Court Rules, states that in any proceedings, the court may consider reconciliation and settlement,” Ejimakor added.

On his part, FG’s lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, said he had earlier informed the defendant that he lacked the powers to embark on such negotiation since it was not part of the Fiat that was issued to him by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He maintained that only the AGF has the authority to negotiate or take further steps in relation to the matter, noting that the case borders on alleged terrorism.

“If he is interested in negotiating, he knows the right place, the Attorney General of the Federation office,” Adegboyega, SAN, stated.

Reacting to the development, trial Justice Binta Nyako said the duty of the court was to hear the matter that was brought before it and not to act as a solicitor for any of the parties.

He said it was left for the parties to agree on the way they want the matter to go.

“If you want to discuss with the AGF, no problem at all,” Justice Nyako added.

It will be recalled that Kanu was first arrested in Lagos on October 14, 2015, upon his return to the country from the United Kingdom, UK.

Justice Nyako had on April 25, 2017, granted him bail on health ground, after he had spent about 18 months in detention.

Upon the perfection of the bail conditions, he was on April 28, 2017, released from the Kuje prison.

However, midway into the trial, the IPOB leader escaped from the country after soldiers invaded his country home at Afara Ukwu Ibeku in Umuahia, Abia State, an operation that led to the death of some of his followers.

Kanu was later re-arrested in Kenya on June 19, 2021 and extraordinarily renditioned back to the country by security agents on June 27, 2021.

Following the development, the trial court, on June 29, 2021, remanded him in custody of DSS, where he remained till date.

On April 8, 2022, the court struck out eight out of the 15-count charge that FG preferred against him on the premise that they lacked substance.

Likewise, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on October 13, 2022, ordered Kanu’s immediate release from detention even as it quashed the charge against him.

Dissatisfied with the decision, FG took the matter before the Supreme Court, even as it persuaded the appellate court to suspend the execution of the judgement, pending the determination of its appeal.

While deciding the appeal, the Supreme Court, on December 15, 2023, vacated the judgement of the appellate court and gave FG the nod to try the IPOB leader on the subsisting seven-count charge.


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