The High Court of Abia State has adjourned the case involving the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) until October 7th, 2021. This decision was taken by the presiding judge, Justice K.C. Okereke because the Federal Government and five other respondents in the case are yet to file their response to the suit, regarding alleged infringement of Kanu’s fundamental rights by the Nigerian government. The respondents in the case include the Federal Government of Nigeria (1st respondent), Attorney General of the Federation, AGF (2nd respondent), Chief of Army Staff, COAS (3rd respondent), Inspector General of Police (5th respondent), Director General, Department of State Services, DSS (7th respondent) and three other respondents. Kanu through his lawyer Aloy Ejimakor is seeking N5bn in damages for allegedly breaching his fundamental human rights, his involuntary flight to exile, his alleged abduction in Kenya and his subsequent extradition to Nigeria. According to reports, only two- the DSS in Abuja and Umuahia out of the 8 respondents- have filed their responses to the suit brought forward by Kanu but their responses were filed out of time.
In order to allow the other respondents to file their response, the presiding judge therefore adjourned the case until October 7.
Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor expressed optimism that the court would rule in favour of his client, similar to how a High Court ruled in favour of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho).
He said, “The Oyo State High Court judgement in Igboho’s case (which is similar to Kanu) restates the locus classicus on the wide jurisdiction of State High Courts when it comes to enforcement of the fundamental rights stipulated under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter.”