Mazi Nnamdi Kanu gives no conditions for his trial-Barr Ejimakor

Special Counsel to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Aloy Ejimakor has refuted the media report that his client, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu gave conditions for his trial.

He said his attention was drawn to some publications in the media, purporting that at the last hearing of Kanu’s case on April 17, 2024 that Kanu had given conditions for his trial. He declared that any such publication, regardless of how well-intentioned, was misleading.

He said: “At the last hearing on April 17, 2024, the main issue before the Court is our application to have Kanu’s bail reinstated, in line with the clear and unequivocal pronouncement of the Supreme Court in its judgment of 15th December, 2023.

    “The kernel of our argument for bail restoration pivots on the determination made by the Supreme Court to the effect that Kanu’s bail was revoked in error, based on the misrepresentation or false premise that he had jumped bail, of which the Supreme Court made a finding that he did not, “he clarified.

    He cited part of what the Supreme Court had stated between pages 10 – 13 of the Judgment attached to his press release:

    “The respondent was on bail and therefore in custody of the law when his home was illegally invaded by heavily armed military officers of the appellant causing him to flee from his home and the country to secure his life. In the face of such an attack, it was responsible for him to flee to secure his life and physical well being. That is what any normal and reasonable human being would do in that circumstance to preserve his life and physical well-being.

    “It is glaring that the consequences of that attack were intended or foreseeable. This is not arguable. The appellant’s officials knew that their invasion of the respondent’s home caused him to tun away to secure his life and physical well-being. Yet during proceedings in the pending criminal case against him, they applied that his bail be revoked, that a warrant for his arrest be issued and his sureties forfeit their respective bail bond and that his trial in his absence be ordered because he had jumped bail and is not in court to stand his trial. But they knew that their illegal actions made it impossible for the respondent to be in court for his trial.

    “In a situation such as this one, where the prosecution has taken extrajudicial actions against the defendant in a pending criminal case brought by it and made it impossible for the defendant who is on bail to be in court for his or her trial, it is wrong to treat such a defendant as having jumped bail in the sense that he is running from prosecution or running to avoid prosecution in the pending criminal case in respect of which he was granted bail. The respondent did not intentionally and knowingly fail to appear in court. It was therefore wrong and malicious for the appellant that had cause the respondent to flee from his home and country to secure his life and that had therefore caused his unavoidable absence from court, to inform and thereby deceived the trial court that the respondent had jumped bail.

    “On the basis of this deception, the appellant applied to the trial court for an order revoking the respondent’s bail, forfeiting the amount securing the bail bond of his sureties and an order issuing a bench warrant for his arrest. It is glaring from the record of the proceedings in the trial court that it granted the said orders prayed for by the appellant with knowledge of the fact that the respondent’s absence from court was caused by the invasion of his home by army officers of the appellant.

    “Therefore, the trial court knew that the said extra judicial and illegal actions of the appellant made it impossible for the respondent to be in court for his trial, that the respondent’s absence is not intentional or deliberate absence and that the respondent is not running from prosecution or running to avoid prosecution. In the light of the foregoing, the trial court acted unfairly and without rational and legal justifiable basis by its decisions revoking the respondent’s bail, forfeiting the amount securing the bail bond of his sureties and its order issuing a bench warrant for his arrest. The orders were made on the basis of the false assumption that the respondent jumped bail.

    “It was on the basis of the order of arrest of the respondent obtained under the false pretense that he jumped bail that his extradition or rendition from Kenya was carried out, ” Per Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, JSC, at Pages 10 – 13.

    3, In addition to the above, there is a lot more of what the Supreme Court had said against the revocation of Kanu’s bail and the consequent issuance of the bench warrant that grandfathered his infamous extraordinary rendition. To learn more, please pay some attention to Pages 18 – 20 of the attached judgment.

    Ejimakor continued: “It is on basis of this pronouncement that we made a vigorous submission on April 17 that the Federal High Court is bound to restore Kanu’s bail, as demanded by the Constitution at Section 287(1) thus: ‘The decisions of the Supreme court shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Supreme Court’.

    “We further advanced the commonsense argument that bail restoration is the next best alternative that will enhance the environment for the accelerated trial the Court had ordered, because it will put an end to the stringent DSS detention conditions which have posed grave risks to Kanu’s fair trial rights as guaranteed under the Constitution.

    “For good measure, we stressed the point to the Court that it is against the ethics of the legal profession for any lawyer to advise a client to succumb to trial whilst his detention conditions are not conducive to his constitutional right to unhindered access to Counsel and the adequate facility to prepare his defense. It is even more egregious in the case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, because most of the charges he is facing carry the death penalty.

    “The forgoing is a summary of the case-in-chief we had presented in Court on April 17, 2024. We never presented any ‘condition’. We don’t even fancy ourselves possessing the slightest coercive wherewithal to present conditions to the Court or the Nigerian State.”

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