The Abia State High Court, Umuahia, today (21st September 2021) adjourned Nnamdi Kanu’s fundamental rights suit filed before the Abia court by his counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, on the 27th of August, 2021, in the presence of a large number of security agents. The case was heard by Justice KCJ Okereke, a vacation judge.
Barrister Ejimakor, speaking to the media, expressed confidence in the Abia High Court’s ability to uphold the law by enforcing Kanu’s human rights. “There is an unbroken chain of federal government violations of Kanu’s constitutional rights that began with the lethal military invasion of his home in Umuahia and his flight to safety in 2017,” Ejimakor said, “and ended with his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria in late June 2021.”
Only two of the eight respondents – the DSS in Abuja and Umuahia – have filed a response to the Suit, according to today’s hearing, but their processes were filed late. Ms Odukwe, their lawyer, was in court. The Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the Nigerian Army, among the other six respondents, did not respond, and no counsel appeared on their behalf.
The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), an apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has also filed an application with the Court seeking permission to file an amicus (friend of the court) brief in Kanu’s support. ADF is led by Emeritus Professor Uzodimma Nwala, and its counsel, Max Ozoaka, filed the application.
Barrister Ejimakor represented Kanu alongside several other lawyers, two of whom were identified as Barristers Patrick Agazie and Wilson Kalu.
The Judge noted in his decision to adjourn the case that Kanu will be entitled to certain reliefs if any party fails to respond to the Suit promptly.
When asked about the suit’s chances of success, Barrister Ejimakor cited the Oyo State High Court’s fundamental rights judgement in favour of Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) and against the federal government on September 17, 2021.
“The Oyo State High Court judgement in Igboho’s case (which is similar to Kanu’s) 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,” according to Ejimakor.