By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday reserved judgment in an application by the Federal Government seeking a stay of execution of the court’s judgment that ordered the release of the Biafra nation agitator, Nnamdi Kanu.
Justice Haruna Tsanami, who presided over the hearing of the application, announced that a date for delivery of judgment would be communicated to the parties when ready.
The Federal Government, while arguing the application, told the Court of Appeal that the Biafra nation agitator, Nnamdi Kanu, is a huge threat to national security and must be kept in detention for relative peace to reign.
Besides, government asserted that Kanu is a flight risk and would escape out of the country, if the judgment which ordered his release was not stayed.
But Kanu’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome argued otherwise.
The senior lawyer informed the court that the Federal Government was in contempt of court by not obeying the October 13 judgment and as such, has no moral and legal rights to make the request from the same court.
“My Lord, the action of the Federal Government in respect of Nnamdi Kanu is an insult, a slap in the face to this court. It is also an invitation to anarchy and I humbly urge this Court to dismiss the application for lacking in merit.” he argued.
In a motion for stay of execution of the October 13 judgment delivered in favour of Kanu, the Federal Government insisted that the Biafra nation agitator would throw the nation’s security into jeopardy and prejudice public and private economic activities.
The Federal Government counsel, Mr David Kaswe, while arguing the motion informed the appellate court that Kanu had earlier demonstrated he was a flight risk when he fled the country when granted bail in the terrorism charges against him at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Kaswe insisted that it is in the interest of justice and the need to have relative peace in the South East and the whole Nigeria that Kanu be made to remain in detention pending the resolution of an appeal already filed at the Supreme Court.
“My Lords, our concerns, the concern of the Federal Government is the threat the release of Kanu poses to the security of this country and its political, social and economic activities. We will not be able to lay hands upon him if he is allowed out of detention and finds his way out of the country”.
He therefore prayed the court to stay the execution of the court judgment to enable Kanu remain in custody pending when the Supreme Court would finally determine the pending appeal.
Ozekhome SAN, dismissed the claim that Kanu jumped bail in his trial at the Federal High Court.
He claimed that the nilitary unjustly invaded Kanu’s ancestral home and that it took God’s grace for his client to escape death.
Contrary to the Federal Government’s claim, Ozekhome said that it is only the release of his client that would ensure peace and tranquility not only in the South East but the entire country.
Justice Tsanami after taking arguments from parties announced that judgment has been reserved and that lawyers would be communicated when it is ready.