The Federal Government filed a petition to delay the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and the Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved its decision.
A date for the decision would be shared with the parties once it was prepared, Justice Haruna Tsamani, who presided over the application’s hearing on Monday, said.
Following the appellate court’s decision on Thursday, October 13, which dismissed the final seven counts against Kanu and ordered his release from terrorism and treasonous felony charges due to a violation of international law regarding his extraordinary rendition from Kenya, the federal government filed an appeal and a stay of execution.
However, the federal government warned the Court of Appeal at the application hearing through counsel David Kaswe that Kanu had previously proven to be a flight risk when he skipped bail issued to him in 2017.
He added that keeping Kanu in custody while the Supreme Court decides whether to hear his appeal was in the best interests of both the nation and the peace in the South-East.
But Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged the appellate court to reject the arguments, arguing that his client miraculously spared death in September 2017 when Operation Python Dance soldiers raided his home in Afaraukwu-Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State, killing 28 people.
He insisted that keeping Kanu in custody until the date of the order releasing him would be illegal and a violation of his fundamental rights to liberty, and added that his release will contribute to the nation’s return to peace.