Nnamdi Kanu demands N5bn damages, apology from Malami, DSS

Leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has asked the High Court of Abia State to compel the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); the Department of State Services (DSS) and six others to pay him N5 billion in damages being monetary compensation for the “physical, mental, emotional, psychological and other damages” suffered as a result of the alleged infringements of his fundamental rights.

Kanu, who is currently in DSS custody, filed the suit on Tuesday through his special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor.

He also secured an order from the High Court of Abia State to serve by substituted means an application for enforcement of the fundamental rights of Kanu.

Kanu contended that his rights have been infringed upon since 2017 when he fled the country due to an alleged threat to his life by security agents and after his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria from a foreign country recently.

In the suit, no HIH/FR14/2021, the respondents include the Federal Government of Nigeria (1st), Attorney General of the Federation (2nd), Chief of Army Staff (3rd), Inspector General of Police (5th), Director General, State Security Services (7th) and three others.

The reliefs place before the court include:

“A declaration that the expulsion of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria by the Respondents or their agents and their consequent detention and planned prosecution of the Applicant in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 (Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Nnamdi Kanu) is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the Applicant’s fundamental right against unlawful expulsion and detention, and to fair hearing, as enshrined and guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of CFRN and the Charter).

“An order restraining the Respondents or their agents from taking any further step in the prosecution of the Applicant in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 (Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Nnamdi Kanu) pursuant to said unlawful expulsion of the Applicant from Kenya to Nigeria.

“An order mandating and compelling the Respondents or their agents to forthwith release the Applicant from detention and restitute or otherwise restore Applicant to his liberty, same being his state of being as of 19th June, 2021; and to thereupon repatriate the Applicant to his country of domicile (to wit: Britain) to await the outcome of any formal request the Respondents may file before the competent authorities in Britain for the lawful extradition of the Applicant to Nigeria to continue his prosecution in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 (Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Nnamdi Kanu).

“An order mandating and compelling the Respondents to issue an official Letter of Apology to the Applicant for the infringement of his fundamental rights; and publication of said Letter of Apology in three (3) national dailies.

“An order mandating and compelling the Respondents to pay the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira) to the Applicant, being monetary damages claimed by the Applicant against the Respondents jointly and severally for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological and other damages suffered by the Applicant as a result of the infringements of Applicant’s fundamental rights.”

Justice K. C. J. Okereke set September, 21 as next hearing date.

It would be recalled that Malami at a press briefing in Abuja on June 29, 2021, announced that the IPOB leader was arrested in a foreign country and extradited to Nigeria.

Kanu, who was born on September 25, 1967, is a holder of Nigerian and British passports. He had earlier jumped bail in June 2018 before leaving for the United Kingdom though he said that he fled because his life was no longer safe in Nigeria.

Upon his re-arrest and extradition in June 2021, he was re-arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako for terrorism-related charges and has since been remanded in the DSS custody in Abuja.

Justice Nyako did not attend to the prayer of Kanu’s lawyers that the court should grant a pending application before it to transfer Kanu from the custody of the DSS to a correctional centre in Abuja.

Justice Nyako had adjourned the trial of Kanu to October 21, 2021, for continuation of hearing.