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FG welcomes Ohanaeze’s monitoring team on Kanu trial

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[files] Nnamdi Kanu

Counsel faults detention canvasses IPOB leader’s repatriation to Britain

Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has welcomed the formation of a legal team by Ohanaeze Ndigbo to monitor proceedings at the trial of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, which is in line with the doctrine of the right to fair hearing in Section 36 of the Constitution.

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By forming the team, Ohanaeze has, no doubt, identified with Nigeria and succumbed to the rule of law, while maintaining its stance of not being averse to Kanu’s trial.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu, the AGF assured that even without the monitoring team, Kanu would be served justice according to the law.

“Let it be made abundantly clear that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government respects the rule of law and does not advocate the breach of law. Hence, with or without the so-called monitoring group, justice will be adequately served to Nnamdi Kanu in compliance with the enshrined provisions of the law.

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“It is hoped that the unnecessary legal monitoring group will come with open-mind and guided by nothing but the rule of law in the process, so as to convey the judgment of the court as may eventually be delivered to their people in various languages and dialects of the members of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, communities and Nigerians,” the statement read in part.
SPECIAL Legal Counsel to Kanu, Aloy Ejimakor, says Nigeria has lost the power to detain Kanu or subject him to trial.

Ejimakor based his submission on the notion that an act of extraordinary rendition is, under international law, a state crime that cannot sustain a “valid prosecutorial or judicial action, pending or consequent”.

He told The Guardian yesterday that Kanu’s rendition was similar to Nigeria’s failed kidnap of Umaru Dikko in Britain in 1984, which brought it severe consequences.

The consequences, the counsel noted, included the arrest of 17 men, four of whom were convicted, and served six to eight years in prison.

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“Britain expelled the Nigerian High Commissioner and broke diplomatic relations with Nigeria for two years and Nigeria’s subsequent request to Britain to extradite Dikko and others was denied,” the lawyer added.

According to him, all these were done even as Dikko was not a citizen of Britain but a mere resident.

“Kanu is a bona fide citizen of Britain, travelling with British passport when the rendition happened. This should count for more aggressive British intervention, regardless of the fact that the rendition occurred outside Britain,” he pointed out.

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Speaking on Kanu’s dual citizenship – Nigeria and Britain – which deserves British diplomatic protection, Ejimakor cited Article 5 of the Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Law, which states: “Within a third state, a person having more than one nationality shall be treated as if he had only one.

“Without prejudice to the application of its law in matters of personal status and of any convention in force, a third state shall, of the nationalities which any such person possesses, recognise exclusively in its territory either the nationality of the country in which he is habitually and principally resident or the nationality of the country with which, in the circumstances he appears to be, in fact, most closely connected.”

Ejimakor also stated: “In this particular matter, Kenya (the third state) should have exclusively recognised Britain (not Nigeria) as Kanu’s nationality because that is where he is habitually and principally resident, as well as being the country with which he is, in fact, most closely connected, especially with his family residing in Britain and both Radio Biafra and IPOB (which Kanu runs) being corporate citizens of Britain. So, if Kanu deserved any repatriation at all from Kenya, it should have been to Britain, not Nigeria.”

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