Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has filed an appeal against the June 19 ruling by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja. This ruling dismissed Kanu’s objection to the court’s jurisdiction to try him. The appeal was lodged at the Court of Appeal in Abuja by Kanu’s lead counsel, Alloy Ejimakor, who disclosed the development in a statement.

The statement from Ejimakor reads, “Earlier today, I filed a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Appeal in Abuja against the 19th June 2024 ruling of Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako, refusing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s application objecting to the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to subject him to trial. The grounds of the objection are seven and mostly predicated on provisions of the Constitution, the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act 2022, and other pertinent statutes.”

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The Federal Government of Nigeria is named as the sole respondent in the appeal and will be served through its counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN. The notice of appeal elaborates on the appellant’s dissatisfaction with the Federal High Court’s ruling and outlines the grounds for appeal and the reliefs sought.

The notice of appeal states: “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 June, 2024, more particularly set out in Paragraph 2, 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 the Reliefs set out in Paragraph 4 of this Notice of Appeal.

“Ground one: Error in law: The Learned Trial Judge erred in law and occasioned grave miscarriage of justice against the Appellant when the trial Court held that ‘The main claim in this application deals with the counts of charge the Defendant is facing. These counts of charge that this Court had retained after a considered ruling on the counts of charge dismissing 8 of the original counts. The main issue is that, if the Defendant has a problem with the counts of charge retained, the option open is appeal.’”

Kanu’s legal team argues that the trial court’s decision to retain some of the charges against him, despite having previously dismissed eight of the original charges, constitutes a significant error in law. They contend that this error has resulted in a grave miscarriage of justice, warranting a review by the Court of Appeal.

The appeal is built on seven grounds, each rooted in constitutional provisions, the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act 2022, and other relevant legal statutes. By challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Kanu aims to invalidate the charges remaining against him and halt the ongoing trial.

This legal maneuver is the latest in a series of actions taken by Kanu and his legal team to contest the charges brought against him by the Nigerian government. The IPOB leader has been a central figure in the struggle for Biafran independence, a movement that has faced significant opposition from the Nigerian authorities.

Kanu’s appeal underscores the ongoing legal battles surrounding his case, reflecting broader tensions between the IPOB movement and the Nigerian state. As the appeal process unfolds, it will be closely watched by both supporters of the Biafran cause and observers of Nigeria’s legal and political landscape.

The outcome of this appeal could have far-reaching implications not only for Kanu’s legal standing but also for the broader dynamics of the Biafran independence movement and its relationship with the Nigerian government. For now, the focus shifts to the Court of Appeal in Abuja, where the merits of Kanu’s arguments will be thoroughly examined.