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‘Don’t Let Him Die In Detention’, Ozekhome Writes Buhari, Solicits For Kanu’s Release



Mike Ozekhome, counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of his client.

Kanu has been in DSS custody since his arrest and extradition from Kenya to Nigeria in June 2021.

He is on trial for a treasonable felony.

In July, the United Nation Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in a 16-page report, reportedly indicted both Nigeria and Kenya governments for the arrest, torture, and continued detention of the IPOB leader.

The group also urged the federal government to ensure the “immediate release of Kanu unconditionally” and pay him adequate compensation for the arbitrary violation of his fundamental human rights.

In a letter on Monday, Ozekhome asked Buhari to order Kanu’s immediate release through a more productive “political solution”.

Ozekhome said Buhari can order Kanu’s release in line with section 174, which gives the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) powers to “discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or any other authority or person”.

“You can do this by instructing the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation to wield his powers under section 174 of the 1999 Constitution to enter a “nolle prosequi”. This will immediately halt the present restlessness and sits-at-home mantra currently ravaging the South East and paralysing business and normal life,” Ozekhome said.

While noting that Kanu’s extradition was carried out “illegally” and “arbitrarily without due process”, the senior lawyer said a “dispassionate consideration of the Report of the UN body will bear eloquent testimony to a litany of grave errors which Kanu’s abduction, and his continued detention and shabby treatment since then by officers and men of the Nigerian SSS, constitute”.

“All these cumulatively constitute, not only gross violation of our client’s fundamental rights under international and Nigerian laws but, even more worrisome, cast an altogether avoidable pall on Nigeria’s image in the international community,” the letter reads.

“To refuse releasing Kanu unconditionally and immediately is to court international displeasure and multi-faceted backlash. It will hurt Nigeria badly as it will also insinuate that your Excellency does not subscribe to the Rule of law and respect for citizens’ fundamental rights, and your postulations of the just ended United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which took place between the 20th and 23rd September 2022.

“Your Excellency must avoid these unhealthy reactions by ensuring that Kanu is released immediately and unconditionally now.

“The moral burden of insisting on keeping Kanu in detention is too expensive and too offensive to embrace, especially with his fragile and deteriorating health condition which his custodians (the SSS) have not been able to manage properly. Do not let Kanu die in detention sir.”

Ozekhome also said Buhari would be writing his name in gold by ensuring the release of the detained IPOB leader.

“Your Excellency, the whole world has spoken through the UN Human Rights Committee. The message is quite clear: Nnamdi Kanu must be released forthwith – unconditionally. To insist on detaining him in defiance of the world would be at a great price which is better avoided,” the letter reads.

“Suffice it to say, your Excellency that, just like in the earlier case of Umaru Dikko, your government risks turning Nigeria, once again, into a Pariah State, simply on account of this avoidable conundrum.

“Your Excellency, if the case of Mr. Dikko was understandable because it was carried out by a military regime, that of Nnamdi Kanu is inexplicable and unjustifiable under a democratic government headed by your good self and which operates under a written Constitution that guarantees fundamental rights, the rule of law and the enforcement of duly-ratified international treaties.

“The foregoing narrative clearly shows that this is the case with the relevant treaties under which the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued its binding directive for the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu.

“Your Excellency, I am not aware of any State which has defied or disobeyed such a directive without paying a national heavy price. Nigeria should not be the first member of that “Hall of Infamy” reserved only for pariah nations. That would be another blot on Nigeria’s image.

“The situation is however not irredeemable, as your Excellency can yet redeem it; and write your name in gold by ordering the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu from his present excruciating detention as ordered by the United Nations, through its Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.”


Runaway Nigerian Nurse Arrested In Lagos, Extradited To US For Trial Over Fraud



A convicted Nigerian fugitive, Florence Enwerim Onyegbu, was on Thursday, extradited to the United States of America, where she is wanted to answer to criminal charges bordering on the violation of the U.S. law involving the offer and payment of illegal remuneration in a health care matter.

Onyegbu‘s extradition was coordinated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, following a request by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI,  seeking assistance for her apprehension.

The EFCC said its investigations revealed that she had changed her name from Florence E. Onyegbu to Janet Boi in an attempt to remain hidden.

But that she however ran out of luck when operatives of the EFCC swooped on her at her residence in the Ojodu area of Lagos on February 21, 2022.

The anti-graft agency said that upon her arrest, a national identity card with the name Janet Boi as well as a Texas driver’s license with the name Florence Enwerim Onyegbu were found on her.

The Commission, on March 22, 2023, handed over Onyegbu to the FBI, following an extradition order granted by Justice Z.B. Abubakar of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on December 2, 2022.

It will be recalled that Onyegbu’s travails began after she was arrested on February 12, 2011 in the U.S. and subsequently sentenced to 46 months imprisonment, following a guilty plea , over the violation of the U.S. law bordering on the offer and payment of illegal remuneration in a health care matter.

Although she was ordered to report for service of her sentence on April 4, 2011, she failed to surrender on that date.

Consequently, she was further charged with failure to surrender for service of sentence in violation of U.S. Law on March 4, 2013.

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JUST IN: CBN Directs Banks To Open On Saturday, Sunday



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the evacuation of banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks across the country as part of a coordinated effort to ease the circulation of banknotes of various denominations.

The CBN has also directed all commercial banks to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Isa AbdulMumin, disclosed this in Abuja, on Friday, stating that a substantial amount of money, in various denominations, had been received by the commercial banks for onward circulation to their respective customers.

According to him, the CBN had directed all banks to load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekends.

“Branches of commercial banks will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to attend to customers’ cash needs,” he noted, adding that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, would personally lead teams to monitor the level of compliance by the banks in various locations across the country.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to be patient as the current situation would ease soon with the injection of more banknotes into circulation.

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CJN Olukayode Ariwoola Returns to Nigeria After Medical Check-Up In London



The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has reportedly returned to Nigeria after seeking medical attention in London, the United Kingdom.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and an ally of the Supreme Court head, Ahmed Raji, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Raji disclosed that Justice Ariwoola went to London on Saturday for his routine medical check-up and returned to the country on Thursday morning.

He also described the reports that the CJN was sighted in London in a wheelchair, purportedly planning to meet with the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as false and aimed at tarnishing the image of the apex court and the chief justice.

Raji, therefore, urged Nigerians to resist the attempts by politicians to paint the judiciary as bad so as to achieve their selfish interests.

He said: “It is in the news since Tuesday evening that Tinubu was traveling to Europe for medical reasons as well as for lesser hajj, further reports indicated that he is in France to meet with his medical doctor, why would somebody now link that to the CJN that has left Nigeria for the UK since Saturday to observe his own medical session and just came back today (Thursday) as a meeting?

“Our politicians need to allow due process to take control, election matters are in the law courts, but that does not mean that the law Lords will not live their normal lives as human beings, Tinubu is in France and the CJN was in London, where is the contact?“

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