Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
A native of Afara Village, in Abia State, Mr. Ugochukwu Kenneth, has filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking among others, an order directing the British High Commission and the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr. Mohammed Babandede, to arrest and extradite the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, from the United Kingdom.
Kanu, who is also a citizen of Britain, hails from Afara village in Nigeria.
The suit with number, FHC/ABJ/CS/930/2017, was filed on October 5, 2017 and has since been assigned to Justice John Tsoho.
The British High Commission, the Comptroller-General of NIS, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), are the defendants in the suit.
The plaintiff stated in his affidavit filed in support of the suit that he was an indigene of Afara village in Abia South Senatorial District of Abia State, which was being represented in the Senate by Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe.
Kenneth stated that Abaribe was among the sureties for the bail granted Kanu in his (Kanu’s) ongoing trial before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
He said if Kanu failed to appear in court, Abaribe’s freedom could be in jeopardy, adding that if the senator was arrested, the people of Abia South Senatorial District would be denied representation at the Senate and by extension the dividends of democracy.
He stated, “That upon the perfection of the bail and consequent released of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from prison custody, Mazi Kanu has to the best of my knowledge breached all the bail conditions to wit; granting press interviews while on bail, participating in any rally, or being found in a crowd of more than 10 persons in the course of the bail and to make matters worse, Mazi Kanu has finally travelled to the United Kingdom in an attempt to escape trial and the arm of the law.
“That I know as a fact that if Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who has travelled to the United Kingdom in an attempt to escape justice, fails to appear in court on the next adjourned date being 17th October, 2017 the freedom of the senator representing my district and other co-sureties will be in jeopardy.
“That consequent upon the above, if Senator Abaribe who is my representative is finally arrested as required by law, myself and the good people of Abia South Senatorial District will be denied representation at the Senate and by extension the dividends of democracy.”
“That I know as a fact that the illegal disappearance of Mazi Kanu from the shores of Nigeria to the United Kingdom would not be possible, if not for gross display of negligence on the part of the second defendant (CG of NIS) as well as complacency of the first defendant (the British High Commission) who aided the illegal travel of Mazi Kanu considering the fact that he holds citizenship of the first defendant.”
The plaintiff therefore wants the court to declare that by virtue of sections 1, 4 and 5 of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013 and Section 2 (1) of the Immigration Act 2015 the British High Commission and the Comptroller-General of NIS “have abdicated their duties by failing, neglecting or omitting to prevent and arrest the IPOB separatist leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is standing trial for treason in Nigeria from illegally travelling to the United Kingdom and remaining as a fugitive from justice in the United Kingdom.”
He, through his lawyers, Obor John, and Tersagh Unande, are also seeking, “A declaration that the British High Commission is under obligation to repatriate Mazi Nnamdi Kanu-a fugitive from justice, irrespective of him holding dual nationalism of Nigeria and the United Kingdom, back to Nigeria to stand trial for the offences of treason and terrorism pursuant to the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013 and the United Nations Convention on Terrorism.
“A declaration that the third defendant (the AGF) as the chief law officer of the federation is under a statutory duty to advise the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to declare the 1st Defendant a persona non grata for harbouring Mazi Nnamdi Kanu- a fugitive from justice and his failure amount to abdication of his duties under the of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013.
“An order compelling the first and second defendants to forthwith arrest and repatriate Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from the United Kingdom back to Nigeria to stand his trial.
“An order directing the third defendant (the AGF) to advise the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to declare the British High Commission as persona non grata for her complicity in facilitating and harbouring a fugitive from justice in her territory being the United Kingdom.”
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