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Supreme Court affirms treason charge against IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu, rejects release plea

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In a decisive ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court upheld the treasonable charge against Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The verdict came after a legal battle that saw the federal government challenging the Court of Appeal’s earlier decision that quashed the treasonable felony charge against Kanu and ordered his release.

 

The federal government, represented by counsel Tijani Gazali (SAN), appealed to the Supreme Court, urging it to set aside the Court of Appeal’s judgment. The Court of Appeal had determined that Kanu’s arrest and subsequent trial were unlawful since he was brought back to the country after jumping bail.

 

Gazali urged the apex court “to allow the appeal, set aside the judgment of the court below, and affirm the judgment of the trial court (Federal High Court), to the effect that the respondent should stand trial in respect of the charge, which the court below quashed.”

 

In response, Mike Ozekhome, Kanu’s counsel, countered the appeal, urging the court to dismiss it with punitive costs. He emphasized the need to uphold the cross-appeal to ensure substantial justice in the matter. Ozekhome pleaded with the court to consider his client’s prolonged detention since June 29, 2021.

 

Despite the arguments, the Supreme Court not only upheld the treason charge against Kanu but also declined to order his release from detention. Justice Garba Lawal, who authored the judgment, voided and set aside the Court of Appeal’s decision that ordered Kanu’s release and quashed terrorism charges against him.

 

Justice Lawal acknowledged the reckless and unlawful manner in which the Nigerian Government rendered Kanu from Kenya but insisted that such acts did not strip the courts of the authority to proceed with the trial. He pointed out that no Nigerian law was cited in the suit seeking Kanu’s release based on the alleged unlawful abduction from Kenya. The judge suggested that Kanu could file a civil matter against such actions instead of hindering the courts’ powers to continue with his trial for alleged criminal charges.

 

Consequently, the Supreme Court ordered Kanu to defend himself in the remaining seven counts of terrorism charges against him. The ruling reaffirmed the government’s position on pursuing the trial and dispelled the earlier notion of Kanu’s release based on procedural irregularities in his arrest.

 

The legal battle surrounding Nnamdi Kanu continues to be a focal point in the nation’s legal and political landscape. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the treason charge signifies a significant development in the ongoing legal saga, with implications for the trajectory of Kanu’s trial and the broader conversation on separatist movements in Nigeria.

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EFCC, NUPENG Join forces against oil theft

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The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPENG)is seeking a collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC)to fight the scourge of illegal oil bunkering in the country.

 

 

The President of the Union, William Akporeha made the request when he led members of his executive to the corporate headquarters of the EFCC in Abuja.

 

 

 

Akporeha, who commended the EFCC boss for repositioning the anti-graft agency on the path of professionalism and rule of law, stressed the need to sanitise the oil and gas industry.

 

 

Akporeha itemised some of the challenges involved in the movement of petroleum products across the country, pleading with the EFCC to always come to the aid of truck drivers experiencing difficulties in the course of their works.

 

 

 

In his response, Olukoyede said it is important that major players in the oil and gas sector collaborated with the EFCC to confront the National Economic sabotage in the sector.

 

 

 

He assured members of the union that the Commission would not arrest or detain any truck or driver who did not dabble into shady deals, noting that the process of profiling suspected oil thieves and evaluation of petroleum products involved are often long drawn.

 

 

Olukoyede promises to continue to work with every stakeholder in the oil and gas sector to ensure sanity in their operations.

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Kidnap kingpin, Boderi, feared killed as troops battle terrorists in Kaduna

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Troops of the Nigerian Army operating in 1 Division area of responsibility have neutralised some insurgents and recovered more firearms and ammunition in encounters with the criminals in the General area of Igabi, Giwa and Birnin Gwari Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.

 

A Statement by the Army spokeperson, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu said a notorious terrorist, Boderi, who orchestrated many high profile kidnappings including those of the Yauri school girls, Greenfield University students and the Nigerian Defence Academy attack may have been killed alongside another kingpin, Bodejo in the ambush.

 

The statement said while on a fighting patrol along Maganda-Dausayi – Mugaba axis, troops came under fire from insurgents who employed rustled herds of cattle as shields while they engaged the troops with direct fire. Two of the terrorists were killed in the process and arms as well as other items including 1 Techno phone, 3 Hilux vehicles and motorcycle keys, wraps of substance suspected to be marijuana, tramadol tablets and the sum of 13,200 Naira only, were recovered.

 

Also, during the encounter, some of the rustled livestock used as shield by the insurgents were caught in the crossfire. Troops are still on the trail of the fleeing insurgents and remain resolute on ridding the area of armed violence according to the army.

 

In a separate operation, conducted by troops of 1 Division of the Nigerian Army on Wednesday 22 February 2024, the troops successfully ambushed marauding insurgents along the Bada – Riyawa axis on the Kaduna – Birnin Gwari Road. In the encounter, troops killed 6 insurgents and recovered arms and 19 motorcycles which were destroyed.

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Senate confirms Cardoso Chairman, CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee, 11 others as members

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The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso, as Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee alongside eleven others.

 

 

The confirmation follows the adoption of a report of the committee on Banking and other Financial Institutions presented by its chairman Adetokunbo Abiru (APC Lagos East).

 

 

Abiru, in his presentation, said the nominees possess the academic qualifications, technical knowledge and professional experience to be members of the Monetary Policy Committee.

 

 

Abiru further stated that the Senate Committee on Banking did not receive any petition against the nominees.

 

 

He added that the nominees were all cleared by the Nigeria Police Force and the State Security Services and possessed the Code of Conduct Bureau acknowledgment slip.

 

 

 

Other lawmakers in their submission charged the newly confirmed Members of the MPC to come up with proper economic policies to salvage the current situation in the country.

 

 

Those confirmed are CBN Deputy Governors, Mohamed Sani Abdullahi , Bala Bello, Emem Usoro and Philip Ikeazor.

 

 

Others are the Director General, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Jafiya Shehu, murtala Sabo Sagagi, Aloysius Uche, Aku Paulin, Mustapha Akinwumi and Bandele Amon.

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