The Federal Government has asked that the Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) throws out a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of proscribed group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Punch reports.
The Federal Government asked that the case be dismissed as Kanu has now jumped bail, making the suit “purposeless.”
Kanu had in March 2016 filed a case of unlawful arrest against the Federal Government, demanding a sum of $800 million as compensation.
The lawyer to the Federal Government Maimuna Shiru said it was unnecessary for the court to adjudicate Kanu’s suit as he had been granted bail in April 2017. She said:
Having regards to Article 88(2) of the Rules of the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, this suit has become devoid of purpose and unnecessary to adjudicate upon.
The result of a judicial decision in this suit will serve no purpose. There are no live issues in controversy between the parties for the court to determine.
According to Punch, Thomas Etah, who deposed to an affidavit filed in support of the Federal Government’s motion, said that Kanu’ has jumped bail, and IPOB has been proscribed as a terrorist organization, and so the suit “has become devoid of purpose.” He said:
That the plaintiff/respondent has now jumped bail and his whereabouts are unknown.
That further to paragraph 8 above, it is public knowledge that the Federal High Court of Nigeria has ordered Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe and two other sureties to produce the plaintiff/respondent or forfeit their bail bonds.
That the plaintiff/respondent and the group he represents, the Indigenous People of Biafra have been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the defendant/applicant (Federal Government).
That this suit before this honourable court has been overtaken by events and has become devoid of purpose.
Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer however accused the Federal Government of deliberately delaying the filing of the motion to frustrate the case.
The presiding judge, Justice Hameye Mahalmadane, said that the court paper filed by the Federal Government will have to be interpreted to the panel members, who all happen to be anglophone, and adjourned the case until February 7, 2018.