March 4, 2024

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, adjourned a fresh ₦1 billion suit filed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), against the Federal Government until March 4 for hearing.

Justice James Omotosho adjourned the matter following the absence of counsel for Kanu in court. When the case was called, Kanu, who was the applicant, was not represented in court while the defendants’ lawyers were in court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kanu, through his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, had filed the latest suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1633/2023 for the enforcement of his fundamental rights while in detention.

In the originating motion dated and filed December 4, the applicant sued the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Department of State Service (DSS) and its Director-General as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.

The suit was filed pursuant to Order II, Rules 1 & 2 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009, among others. In the motion, the detained IPOB leader prayed for eight reliefs.

He sought a declaration that the respondents’ act of forcible seizure and photocopying of confidential legal documents pertaining to facilitating the preparation of his defence which were brought to him at the respondents’ detention facility by his lawyers, amounted to denial of his rights to be defended by legal practitioners of his own choice.

He sought a declaration that the respondents’ act of refusing or preventing his counsel from taking notes of details of counsel’s professional discussions/consultations with him at DSS detention, with said discussions/consultations relating to preparation of his defence amounted to denial of his right to be given adequate facilities for the preparation of his defence by legal practitioners of his own choice.

He also sought a declaration that the respondents’ act of eavesdropping on his confidential consultations/conversations with his lawyers on matters relating to preparation of his defence during the lawyers’ visitations amounted to denial of applicant’s right to be given adequate facilities for the preparation of his defence and to be.defended by legal practitioners of his own choice.

He described the acts as illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and constituted an infringement of his fundamental right to fair hearing as enshrined and guaranteed under Section 36(6)(b) & (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Article 7(1)(c) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

Kanu, therefore, sought an order of injunction restraining and prohibiting the respondents from their act of forcible seizure and photocopying of confidential legal documents brought to him at the detention facility by his lawyers.

“An order of injunction restraining and prohibiting the respondents from their act of refusing or preventing the applicant’s counsel from taking notes of details of counsel’s professional discussions/consultations with the applicant during the counsel’s visitation with the applicant at the premises of respondents’ detention facility.

“An order of injunction restraining and prohibiting the respondents from their act of eavesdropping on the applicant’s confidential consultations/conversations with his lawyers on matters relating to preparation of applicant’s defence during the lawyers’ visitations with the applicant at the detention facility.”

Kanu sought an order compelling the respondents to issue an official letter of apology to him for the infringement of his fundamental right to fair hearing.

He is also seeking the court to make an order mandating the respondents to jointly and severally pay the sum of N1 billion as damages for the mental, emotional, psychological and other damages he suffered as a result of the his rights’ breach.

Counsel for the FRN and AGF, Enoch Simon, a Chief State Counsel from Federal Ministry of Justice, told the court that they were only served with the hearing notice. Simon said they had not been served with the originating process in the matter.

He said he came to court out of respect for the court. Also the DSS lawyer, Idowu Awo, corroborated Simon’s statement.

“We were not served as well,” he said.

Justice Omotosho, who adjourned the matter until March 4 for hearing, ordered that a hearing notice be issued and served on the applicant.

Pulse NG

Affairs TV News

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