Nigerian News

Court orders FG, Southeast governors to pay Nnamdi Kanu N8bn for rights violation

An Enugu High Court has ordered the Federal Government and Southeast governors to apologise to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, and pay him N8 billion as compensation.

Justice A.O. Onovo gave the order while passing judgement on Kanu’s appeal against IPOB’s proscription.

Kanu, through his Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, had dragged the Southeast governors and the Federal Government before the Enugu High Court over IPOB’s proscription and violation of his fundamental rights in 2017.

According to a statement by Ejimakor titled: ‘Mazi Nnamdi Kanu/IPOB wins landmark victory against proscription of IPOB’, the judge ruled that the sum was compensation for infringing on Kanu’s fundamental human rights.

Onovo judge ordered the Southeast governors to publish their apologyo Kanu in three national dailies.

The statement reads: “Today, I led a team of lawyers to a landmark victory before the High Court of Enugu State in SUIT NO: E/20/2023 filed in January 2023 against the Southeast Governors’ Forum and the FG (Respondents) for their collective executive actions (in 2017) that led to the proscription of IPOB and declaring it a terrorist group in contravention of Section 42 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity.

“In a well-considered judgment that lasted for over three hours, the High Court (coram Justice A.O. Onovo) granted the following Reliefs.

“Declared that the practical application of the Terrorism Prevention Act and the executive or administrative action of the Respondents (Southeast Governors Forum and the Federal Government) which directly led to the proscription of IPOB and its listing as a terrorist group, said IPOB being comprised of citizens of Nigeria of the Igbo and other Eastern Nigerian ethnic groups, professing the political opinion of self determination and the consequent arrest, detention and prosecution of the Applicant (MAZI NNAMDI KANU) as a member/leader of said IPOB is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right not to be subjected to any disabilities or restrictions on the basis of his ethnicity as enshrined and guaranteed under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and his fundamental rights as enshrined under Articles 2,3,19 &20 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Enforcement and Ratification) Act.

“Declared that self determination is not a crime and thus cannot be used as a basis to arrest, detain and prosecute the Applicant, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“Ordered the Respondents, jointly or severally, to issue official Letter(s) of Apology to the Applicant (Mazi Nnamdi Kanu) for the infringement of his said fundamental rights; and publication of said Letter(s) of Apology in three (3) national dailies.

“Ordered the Respondents to, jointly or severally, pay the sum of N8,000,000,000.00 (Eight Billion Naira) to the Applicant (Mazi Nnamdi Kanu), being monetary damages claimed by the Applicant against the Respondents jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, property and other damages suffered by the Applicant as a result of the infringements of his fundamental rights by the Respondents.”