(Nnamdi Kanu: ... leader of Indigenous People of Biafra and freedom broadcaster, Radio Biafra)
The High Commissioner
British High Commission, Abuja
19 Torrens Close
RE: FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA VS NNAMDI KANU & 2 ORS CHARGE NO: FCT/ABJ/CR/383/15
NNAMDI KANU: A VICTIM OF TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE AND A CALL FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO BE ON THE WATCH
We are Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, the 1st Defendant in the above captioned criminal charge, hereinafter refers to as “Our Client”, and on whose authority and firm instruction, we formally bring to the attention of the British Government the deliberate design by the Nigerian Government to subvert the course of justice in the above criminal trial.
We are therefore constrained in the circumstance, to formally notify the British Government vide this medium, of our well informed reservations, and apprehension, that Our Client is undergoing persecution in the charge above referred, and deliberate design by the persecutors to frustrate every effort of the Defense team aimed at giving Our Client a fair trial.
We are not under any illusion that the British Government has taken notice of the highlights in the presidential media chat granted by President Muhammed Buhari on the 30th day of December 2015.
Prominent among his worrisome but most prejudicial comments in the said media chat, is his insistence, that Our Client cannot be granted bail by any Court. The President in the referenced media chat, referred to Our client as a flight risk for possessing dual citizenship.
It is the position of our Law, that dual citizenship is a constitutional right of the citizens of Nigeria, clearly provided for under section 28 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended 2011. Dual citizenship is not a crime under our Law.
Our reservations on the President’s comment was underpinned by the findings made in the ruling delivered on the 29th day of February 2016, by Hon. Justice John Tsoho, wherein Our Client and the two other Defendants were denied bail.
The learned Judge, in advancing his reasons for arriving at the decision, and in consistence with the direction conveyed in the aforesaid media chat, specifically referred to Our Client as a flight risk, on grounds of his dual citizenship, and on the basis of which he denied him bail.
It is apposite in the circumstance to remind the British Government, that Judges of the Federal High Court of Nigeria are appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in line with the provisions of Section 250(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Amended 2011. This Section provide thus; Section 250; APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE AND JUDGES OF THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT 250(2): “The appointment of a person to the office of a Judge of the Federal High Court shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.”
We therefore submit, most respectfully Sir, that by virtue of the powers conferred on the President in the above cited Law, the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammed Buhari, has overriding control over the appointment of the Federal High Court Judges.
The learned trial Judge in denying Our Client bail on the 29th day of January, 2016, granted accelerated hearing of the substantive charge. Accelerated hearing ordered by the learned presiding Judge in the matter connotes total annihilation of all forms of delay in the trial intended to debilitate the tenets of fair hearing.
Also, instructive to mention, that the Court is under duty to allow the Defendants unfettered access to relevant materials and facilities that will aid them in the defense of their case. This duty is not only sacrosanct and compelling, but is provided for under Chapter (iv) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (Amended) 2011, particularly in section 36(6) (b), among the fundamental rights of the citizens. In the course of our defense, We are usually confronted with situation where we are handed the short end of the stick in the face of deliberate refusal/delay in obliging us copies of the Ruling delivered in open Court.
The Application brought by the Federal Government of Nigeria, requesting the Court to protect the identities of the prosecution witnesses by the aid of facial masks and screens while giving evidence in the course of proceeding, was heard on the 19th day of February 2016.
Accept the assurances of our deepest regards Sir.
Hon. Ifeanyi Ejiofor