The Umuahia Division of the Federal High Court on Wednesday ordered the federal government to return Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, to Kenya before his rendition on June 19, 2021.
Delivering judgement, Justice Evelyn Anyadike, also awarded Kanu N500 million in general damages.
Mr Kanu prayed the court to redress his infamous unlawful expulsion or extraordinary rendition from Kenya by the federal government.
The suit, which was filed in March, has the federal government, the Attorney-General of the Federal and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and President Muhammadu Buhari as respondents.
The court referred to the Court of Appeal judgement of October 13 in Abuja and granted all the eight reliefs sought by Mr Kanu, which bothered on extraordinary rendition.
The court held that the expulsion or extraordinary rendition of Mr Kanu, is a clear violation of his fundamental rights under Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, as well as Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution.
It held that the manner of arrest, torture, continued detention and denial of the right to fair hearing amounted to a brazen violation of Kanu’s rights.
While delivering the one-and-half-hour judgement, Ms Anyadike held that the burden was on the respondents to justify their actions, which they failed to do so.
Reacting, Kanu’s counsel, Alloy Ejimakor hailed the court for what he described as a “painstaking judgement.”
According to him, it shows that the court is the last hope of the common man and has reinstated our confidence in the judiciary as lawyers.
Mr Ejimakor said: ‘what is the most important in today’s judgement is not the money awarded to us as damages, but the court’s order that Kanu should be restored to the status quo as of June 19, 2021.
“I, therefore, call on the Federal Government to take prompt steps to obey this court order and restore Kanu to the status quo.”
There was no appearance in court on behalf of the respondents.