Daily Watch – ASUU ends strike, Appeal court frees Kanu

14th October 2022

The Court of Appeal in Abuja Thursday struck out terrorism charges filed against Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the Nigerian government. In a judgement on Thursday, the court’s panel led by Jummai Sankey struck out all seven remaining charges against Mr Kanu, ruling that the lower court “lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.” The court held that Mr Kanu’s extradition from Kenya in June 2021 to Nigeria without following extradition rules was a flagrant violation of Nigeria’s extradition treaty and a breach of the IPOB leader’s fundamental human rights. It held there was no denial by the Nigerian government’s lawyer, David Kaswe, in the appeal as to the submissions of Mike Ozekhome, Mr Kanu’s counsel, that the separatist leader was “extraordinarily renditioned from Kenya.” The appellate court said the failure of the FG to adequately respond to Mr Kanu’s arguments gave merit to the appeal. The charges struck out include the ones instituted against Mr Kanu before he was brought back to Nigeria last year. It ordered Mr Kanu’s release from the custody of the State Security Service (SSS), where the IPOB leader has been held since he was brought back to Nigeria.

Benue Governor Samuel Ortom on Thursday gave the FG a one-month ultimatum to approve a request he made for procurement of AK47 for the Community Volunteer Guard. Ortom gave the ultimatum at the inauguration/passing out parade of 1,000 personnel of the second batch of the guard training at the IBB Square, in the state capital Makurdi. He stated that 120 security personnel have been killed from 2017 to date in the state by herdsmen carrying sophisticated weapons. Ortom said if the federal government failed to heed to his ultimatum, he would revert to his people and any advice he gets on the issue would be implemented. He said the essence of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards Law as amended was to complement the formal security agencies, especially the police, in crime prevention and security of lives and property in the state. “All of us, as Nigerians, have a responsibility to check this evil with every deserving force and will the intrusion of those who are set to decimate, take over and control our resources and destiny as a nation. In this regard, the training and passing out of the second batch of Benue State Community Volunteer Guards (BSCVGs) is not just a mere celebration of the involvement of the people in protecting themselves, but also a milestone in the effort to ensure a stable, peaceful and united Nigeria where all and sundry shall enjoy equal rights and God-given freedom,” he said.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has suspended its eight-month strike. Though the union has not yet made an official pronouncement, multiple newspapers have reported that the decision was taken at the end of the National Executive Council meeting which was held at the ASUU secretariat in Abuja overnight. The academic union embarked on strike action on Monday, 14 February 2022 to protest the non-implementation of the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding reached with it by the Federal Government. Nigerian university students have been at home since then.

A rebel group operating from Sudan’s Nuba Mountains handed over nine prisoners of war to Khartoum authorities Thursday after neighbour South Sudan’s mediation, potentially boosting chances for the two sides to reach a final and permanent accord. The nine men who have been in the captivity of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) were handed over to Sudan’s ambassador in South Sudan, Jamal Malik, in South Sudan’s capital Juba. They were captured last month after “heavy battles” in Sudan’s South Kordofan province and were being released on humanitarian grounds to return to their families, Amar Amon, the SPLM-N secretary general, told a news conference in Juba. “As individuals, we don’t have problems with them but we have problems with the government,” he said. Sudan’s ambassador, Jamal Malik, told the news conference Khartoum welcomed the handover of the prisoners, although he said they were not members of Sudan’s armed forces.