On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s decision, which had directed the Federal Government to free Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the insurgent Indigenous People of Biafra, or IPOB, from custody.
Even though the five-member panel of judges unanimously decided that the Federal Government (FG) had behaved “irresponsibly” in bringing Kanu back to the country against all known laws, the top court maintained that this did not absolve the trial court of its jurisdiction to pursue the case.
It concluded that, despite the unlawful conduct that FG took against Kanu, no national law had been passed that would have denied the trial court the authority to continue with Kanu’s case.
The Supreme Court ruled that Kanu might pursue a civil lawsuit against the government as a remedy, according to a ruling authored by Justice Garba Mohammed and read by Justice Emmanuel Agim.
But the court also criticised FG, saying that it should be mindful of its reputation both domestically and globally, and criticised the trial court for removing Kanu’s bail after the security guards broke into his house and he fled to save his life.
The head of IPOB has been detained since June 29, 2021. Security agents initially detained him in Lagos on October 14, 2015.