The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday granted a suit seeking an order of mandamus to compel the police and the Department of State Service (DSS) to prosecute a former Minister of Aviation, Dr. Femi Fani-Kayode; Senator representing Abia South, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe; Messrs Tochukwu Uchendu, and Emmanuel Shallom Ben, for allegedly aiding the escape of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from Nigeria. The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, in a ruling on an ex-parte application, granted leave to the plaintiff, Isiah Ayugu, to commence the suit. He also ordered the processes to be served on the defendants – the DSS, its Director-General, the police and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), while also fixing November 22 for the hearing of the suit. Ayugu had prayed the court to order their arrest and prosecution after proper investigation must have been done on how the IPOB leader fled the country.
Cited as respondents are the Director- General, State Security Service, the State Security Service, the Inspector-General of Police and the Nigeria Police Force. In the suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/1254/18, the plaintiff asked the court to immediately order the respondents in the matter to commence investigation into the circumstances surrounding the escape of Kanu from Nigeria, after Nigerian Army were accused of abducting, arresting, killing and assassinat-ing him.
Ayugu, in the suit filed through his counsel, Oghenovo Otemu, prayed the court for an order mandating all the respondents in the case to investigate and prosecute those concerned. Others are the leaders of Afaraukwu community in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, the different Civil Liberty Organisations (CLO) and media practitioners, who worked together to propagate and spread inciting lies that Kanu was arrested, detained or killed by the Nigerian military and therefore demanded the release of Kanu dead or alive. He averred in the affidavit attached to the origination motion ex-parte:
“That the said Nnamdi Kanu,the so called self acclaimed leader of the IPOB, a group that has long been proscribed and designated a terrorist group is alive and was seen in Israel from where he called a world press conference and made a live broadcast of his new and renewed agenda for his group. In the broadcast, Kanu boasted that he will bring ‘Hell to Nigeria’.
“That it is, therefore, clear that whilst Abaribe, Fani-Kayode, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Tochukwu Uchendu, Emmanuel Shallow Ben, Emmanuel Kanu, Uchechi Kanu, leaders of Afaraukwu community in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, the different CLOs and media practitioners and so many others too numerous to mention were making several dangerous claims that Kanu has been killed, abducted or being held by the Army of government.“They were aware that he was actually out of the country by their collective or respective assistance from where he resurfaced in video clips of him praying in Israel and subsequent video broadcast. “That because Senator Abaribe took Nnamdi Kanu on bail, the case against Nnamdi Kanu has not seen the light of the day as Nnamdi Kanu has now jumped bail.” He accused the outlawed IPOB of stockpiling arm to truncate the 2019 general election.