13 February 2018

Nigeria: Again, Ecowas Court Postpones Nnamdi Kanu's Case

Photo: This Day
Nnamdi Kanu

The Economic Community of West Africa ECOWAS Court, has again adjourned hearing into the fundamental rights suit filed by leader of the indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

Mr. Kanu's suit filed in March 2016 is yet to reach its hearing stage at the court since it was first brought before it.

The case had been adjourned in November 2017, after a previous postponement a month before that time, following applications by parties in the matter.

On Tuesday the court presided by Justice Hemeye Mahdmadane announced its decision to make the further adjournment after entertaining a fresh application by the prosecution.

Mr. Mahmadane said the court's decision to adjourn is based on the fact that motions brought before the court in November were yet to be translated into English language.

At the opening of session on Monday, the prosecution counsel, Maimuna Shiru, informed the court, that her client had a motion seeking to keep the court abreast of the recent developments in the matter.

According to Ms. Shiru, her motion seeks to inform the ECOWAS court that IPOB had already been proscribed and that the Federal High Court in Abuja had affirmed the proscription of the group.

Reacting to the recent application, however, Mr. Ejiofor accused the prosecution of making unnecessary motions aimed at preventing the case from succeeding.

The court, however, warned Mr. Ejiofor to desist from making such utterances in court.

The case was adjourned to May 30.

Speaking to journalists outside the court premises, Mr. Ejiofor reiterated his points during the hearing.

"I had told them in court that adjourning this matter any further will give the insinuation to the lay man on the street that this court is not impartial. This is a fundamental rights suit that is supposed to be heard speedily. They keep adjourning it, giving the prosecution the room to be making fresh applications. If something happens at the Federal High Court today, tomorrow, they will bring a fresh application," Mr. Ejiofor said.

In a reaction, however, Ms. Shiru said contrary to the claims by Mr. Ejiofor, they had made only one application, regarding the fundamental rights suit.

"We are fully ready to go on with this case. I don't know why the applicant is trying to give the court an erroneous impression that we are prolonging the case. We have only filed a motion. One motion, which is our right. There are so many developments in this matter. And it behoves on us. It is our duty to inform the court about any facts on this matter," Ms. Shiru said.


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