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Nnamdi Kanu heads to Appeal Court, condemns Justice Nyako’s ruling, DSS action

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The legal team of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has appealed the ruling of the Abuja Federal High Court before the Appeal Court.

Kanu’s legal team led by its Lead Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling of Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Federal High Court of March 19, 2024.

The team informed the Appeal Court that the lower court erred when it denied Kanu’s constitutional rights to fair trial.

They pointed out that the Department of State Services, DSS, also failed to provide adequate “facilities to prepare for the defence of the criminal allegations against the Appellant and his right to counsel of his own choice, thereby occasioning a grave miscarriage of justice.”

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A notice of appeal filed by Ejimakor with charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, reads: “TAKE NOTICE that the Appellant being dissatisfied with the Ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division coram: B.F.M Nyako, J. delivered on the 19th March, 2024 doth hereby appeal to the Court of Appeal Abuja upon the grounds set out in Paragraph 3 below and will at the hearing of the appeal seek reliefs as set out in Paragraph 4 hereof from the Court of Appeal.

“The Learned trial Court erred in law when the Court assumed jurisdiction to proceed with the hearing of the criminal trial against the Appellant when the Appellant is glaringly denied the constitutional right to fair trial with particular reference to denial of adequate facilities to prepare for the defence of the criminal allegations against the Appellant and his right to counsel of his own choice, thereby occasioning a grave miscarriage of justice.

“Fair hearing/trial bears the constitutional safeguards of ensuring that the Appellant is accorded the adequate facilities to prepare for the defence of the criminal allegations levelled against the Appellant.

“The denial of the Appellant the opportunity to interact and brief his counsel on what line of defences the Appellant tends to agitate in the trial court and rely on was adequately brought to the attention of the trial Court by Motion.

“The trial Court failed and neglected to make necessary orders that would protect the Appellant’s aforesaid rights but rather held that the Court cannot dictate how the Respondent carries out its work.

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“The trial Court has the powers to order the Respondent (being the detaining authority) to cease and desist from interfering with Appellant’s constitutional/fair hearing right to adequate facilities to prepare defence and his right to counsel of his choice; and where it is impossible to do so or where the Respondent persists, the trial court has the power to order an alternative custodial arrangement or non-custodial arrangement for the Appellant.

“Denial of the Appellant’s right to adequate facilities to prepare defence as enshrined in Section 36 (6) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 is a jurisdictional issues in the absence of which the trial Court cannot assume or proceed with the jurisdiction over the case unless and until such facilities are accorded to the Appellant.”

The legal team also accused the trial judge of erring when she held that “I cannot make orders directing a security agency on how to do their work.

“I can only direct that whatever is within the law must be allowed to the Defendant. Counsel cannot direct the court or give condition to the court on how to conduct its business.

“The Defendant is entitled to a counsel of his choice and should be given the facility to conduct an interview with his counsel within the confines of the law.”

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Kanu by a notice of preliminary objection prayed the court to find and hold that trial in the case cannot proceed except, the “respondent stopped the unconstitutional acts of forcibly seizing and photocopying confidential legal documents brought to the Appellant by the Appellant’s lawyers meant for the Appellant’s defence of the charges against the appellant.

“Stopped eavesdropping on the Appellant’s confidential consultation/conversations with the Appellant’s counsel which discussion is aimed at preparing the Appellant for his defence.

“The Respondent denied counsel to the Appellant the right to take notes; denied them the rights to transmit messages and information to the Appellant; secretly took pictures of counsel and the Appellant’s interviews and recorded briefings between the Appellant’s lawyers and the Appellant, scanned documents meant for the Appellant from the Appellant’s team of lawyers and even refused to allow lawyers to the Appellant deliver letters to the Appellant.

“The action of the Respondent in the instant case is a flagrant violation of the appellant’s right to counsel of his own choice as stipulated in Section 36 (6) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”

Also, Kanu’s team accused Justice Nyako of erring in law when she ordered for accelerated hearing of the case given the facts of the case showing that the respondent had consistently refused to afford the Appellant the right to adequate facility to prepare for the defence of the charges levelled against the Appellant and his right to counsel, and thereby occasioned miscarriage of justice against the Appellant and in favour of the Respondent.

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They insisted that the judge “cannot order accelerated hearing of a criminal charge where it is brought to the attention of the Court that the Appellant is denied the adequate facilities to prepare his defence and his right to counsel.”

“The order for accelerated hearing of the case in face of the constitutional breaches of fair hearing/trial rights of the Appellant is a credence to the Respondent to proceed on the unconstitutional denial of the Appellant his right to adequate facilities to prepare for his defence and his right to counsel of his choice,” they added.





Source link: Daily Post

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