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Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer drags Nigerian Govt before British Parliament, wants IPOB leader repatriated to UK

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Aloy Ejimakor, the Special Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has dragged the Nigerian Government before the British House of Lords over the detention and prosecution of the agitator.

Ejimakor, in a petition to the British House of Lords, called for intervention in the torture, rendition and incarceration of Kanu by the Nigerian Government.

He urged the British Parliament to sanction the Nigerian Government if it fails to release Kanu unconditionally and repatriate him to the United Kingdom, UK.

The Special Counsel made the appeals in a petition to the International Relations and Defence Committee of the House of Lords.

Ejimakor, in the petition, stressed that Kanu is a British citizen.

Parts of the petition, signed by Ejimakor, reads: “Additionally, Mr Kanu is gravely ill with three life-threatening conditions, namely a serious heart condition, hypertension and low potassium levels. All of these serious conditions demand specialist medical care and interventions that are not available at the facility where he is being detained or even in Nigeria as a whole. And the Government of Nigeria (GON) is fully aware of this.

“I. Urgently intervene with His Majesty’s Government, strongly urging it to promptly make demands on the GON to unconditionally release Mr Kanu from detention and repatriate him to the United Kingdom; and to levy sanctions against the GON if it fails to comply within a reasonable time. It is pertinent to stress the point that extraordinary rendition inherently destroys every prospect for a fair trial in the jurisdiction that levied the rendition. And UK courts have held in a plethora of cases that extraordinary rendition creates a barrier to the trial of a suspect.

“This was precisely the reason the United Kingdom had, in 1984, denied Nigeria’s formal application to extradite Umaru Dikko after his aborted extraordinary rendition from the UK. In our humble view, Mr Kanu’s is no different, except that his case bears more equities because of his British nationality, as compared to Mr Dikko who was not a British citizen. Additionally, extraordinary rendition is – by itself – a form of torture that should shock the conscience of the Parliament, especially when considered together with the actual physical torture levied on Mr Kanu by agents of the GON in Kenya and the solitary confinement to which Mr Kanu has been subjected to in Nigeria since June 2021. It is settled that torturing a British citizen overseas triggers the universal criminal jurisdiction of British courts.

“In alternative to above, Your Lordships are prayed to promptly intervene with His Majesty’s Government, strongly urging it to make binding proposals to the GON to agree to conduct Mr Kanu’s trial in the United Kingdom. In addition to the fact that all the charges leveled against Mr Kanu by the GON are alleged to have been committed by him from British soil, there are other legal reasons why Mr Kanu should be tried in the UK rather than Nigeria. These reasons include the following:

“Nationality and Citizenship: Mr Kanu is a dual citizen of Nigeria and the United Kingdom. As a British citizen, he has the right to seek legal protections from the UK government, which includes demanding that the UK be the venue for his trial.

“Human Rights Concerns: There are genuine concerns about the human rights situation and the treatment of defendants in Nigeria. Given Mr Kanu’s British citizenship, he would be more likely to receive a fair trial and be treated in accordance with international human rights standards if the trial is held in the UK.

“Diplomatic Considerations: The UK and Nigeria have a history of good diplomatic relations. Thus, the UK should have an interest in ensuring that one of its citizens receives fair treatment in a criminal trial, not conducted in Nigeria but in the UK.

“Security and Safety: We have real concerns about the security and safety of Mr Kanu, including particularly potential threats to his life in Nigeria, evidenced by GON’s military operations against Mr Kanu in 2017, the extraordinary rendition in 2021, the physical torture in Kenya and the persistent solitary confinement in Nigeria.

“Fair Trial/Political Interference: There are concerns about political interference in the legal process in Nigeria. A trial in the UK should mitigate these concerns, as well as ensure that the legal proceedings are fair and free from undue political influence. There is also every likelihood (as has happened before) that the GON will not abide by acquittal of Mr Kanu by a Nigerian court.

“In alternative to Paragraph 2 above but for the same reasons stated therein, the Parliament may intervene with His Majesty’s Government, urging it to make binding proposals to the GON to agree to conduct Mr Kanu’s trial in a mutually agreed neutral third country (other than Nigeria and the UK), as was done in the Lockerbie trial of Libyan nationals.

“Esteemed Members of House of Lords, our decision to lay this Petition before you was propelled by the undue levity with which His Majesty’s Government has so far handled this matter. Mr Kanu believes that he has not been accorded the full legal and diplomatic protections he is entitled to as a bonafide British subject. We trust therefore that this Petition will be given the most urgent and expeditious attention and due considerations by the House of Lords.”

 

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Kano Court sacks Ganduje as APC Chairman

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The Kano State High Court has sacked Abdullahi Ganduje as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Court granted an ex parte order restraining the Ganduje from parading himself as a member of the party.

Subsequently, the court ordered that henceforth, Ganduje should desist from presiding over all affairs of the National Working Committee of the APC.

The application granted by Justice Usman Na’abba on Tuesday followed an ex parte motion filed by Dr. Ibrahim Sa’ad on behalf of two executive members of Ganduje’s ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area, the Assistant Secretary, Laminu Sani and Legal Adviser, Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs), who were part of the nine ward executives who suspended Ganduje on Monday.

The court directed the four parties (respondents) joined in the matter, including the APC, NWC, APC Kano State Working Committee, and Ganduje, to henceforth, maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit on April 30, 2024.

Justice Na’abba, also held as prayed, stopped State Working Committee APC Kano from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of executives of Ganduje ward, essentially on action endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution.

The ex parte order read, “An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit APC (first), APC National Working Committee (second), Kano State Working Committee APC (third), Dr. Abdullah Umar Ganduje (fourth), to maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024.

“The order thereby restraining the first respondent (APC) from recognising the fourth respondent (Ganduje) as a member of APC and prohibiting the fourth respondent (Ganduje) from presiding over any affairs of the NWC and restraining the state Working Committee from interfering with the legally and validly decision of the ward executives of Ganduje ward.

“That the fourth respondent (Ganduje) is prohibited from parading himself as a member of APC or doing any act that may portray him or seem to be a member of APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

Nine members of the Ganduje ward proclaimed the suspension of the National Chairman of the APC over the allegation of corruption slammed on him by the Kano State Government.

The nine APC executives said they were prompted to act following a petition written by one Ja’afaru Adamu, a member of the APC from the National Chairman’s polling unit.

In the petition, Adamu complained over allegations of corruption charges against the former governor just as he urged the ward leaders to investigate the matter to redeem the dented image of the party and the implication on President Bola Tinubu’s fight against corruption.

Although the chairman and secretary of the ward failed to act on the petition filed on April 8, 2024, nine members of the executives, led by the legal adviser, acted upon the petition, a decision that led to Ganduje’s suspension.

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Ogun Assembly passes Assembly Commission Amendment bill

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The Ogun House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the State House of Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

The passage of the bill followed  presentation of the Committee’s report by the Chairman, House Committee on Establishments and Public Service Matters, Mr Babatunde Tella at plenary in Abeokuta.

Tella moved the motion for its adoption, seconded by Mr Adeyanju Adegoke and supported by all the members.

The bill was later read and adopted clause by clause before the Committee of Whole.

The Majority Leader, Mr Yusuf Sheriff, moved the motion for the third reading of the bill, seconded by the Minority Leader, Mr Lukmon Adeleye and supported by the Whole House through a unanimous voice vote.

Consequently, the Deputy Clerk of the House, Mrs Funmilayo Adeyemi, took the third reading of the bill before the lawmakers.

The Speaker, Mr Oludaisi Elemide, directed that the clean copy of the bill be forwarded to Gov. Dapo Abiodun for his assent.

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Abuja court gives EFCC go-ahead to arrest ex-Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, ordered that a warrant be issued to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for immediate arrest of former Governor of Kogi, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a ruling on EFCC’s ex-parte motion, held that after listening to the submission of commission’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, and reading the affidavit in support of the motion, including the exhibits and written address, he was inclined to grant the application.

It was earlier reported that a High Court sitting in Lokoja on Wednesday, restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting Bello

Justice I.A Jamil, who gave the order in a two-hour judgment delivered in suit no HCL/68/M/2020, held that infringing on Bello’s “fundamental human rights is null and void.”

The judge, who dismissed the commission’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the court, said: “By this order, the EFCC is hereby restrained from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant.

“This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given.”

However, in a ruling delivered by Justice Nwite on Wednesday, the judge ordered that a warrant be issued to the commission for Bello’s immediate arrest.

He also directed that the former governor be produced before the court on April 18 for arraignment.

“It is hereby ordered as follows:

“That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing and/or issuing a warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.

“That case is adjourned to 18th day of April, 2024 for arraignment,” he declared.

NAN reports that the EFCC, in the motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024 dated April 16 and filed April 17, sought six orders.

These include “an order granting leave to the complainant/applicant to effect service of the charge together with the proof of evidence on the defendant by substituted means to wit; by pasting the charge at the last known address of the defendant within the jurisdiction of this honourable court being: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

“An order directing and/or issuing an arrest warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.”

In the alternative, the anti-graft agency sought an order issuing and directing the publishing of a public summons requiring/ commanding the defendant to appear before the court on a named date, among others.

The conflicting orders came after the EFCC had appealed against the initial order, and the appeal was scheduled for hearing on April 22 in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024 between EFCC and Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

The Yahaya Bello Media Office had, in a statement signed by Onogwu Mohammed, alerted the nation to a siege on the former Governor’s Abuja residence.

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