Biafra: Kanu’s Fate To Be Decided By Justice Tsoho | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Biafra: Kanu’s Fate To Be Decided By Justice Tsoho

Posted: Jan 16, 2016 at 10:45 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

*To appear in court Jan 18

*IPOB hires new lawyer for activist

Barring any last minute change, Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja will on January 18 preside over the case of the detained Radio Biafra director, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu. According to an online news portal, the International Business Times, United Kingdom (IBTimes UK), the pro-Biafran leader’s new lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofo, said Kanu and his legal team would now face Justice Tsoho. Kanu, who is the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was arrested at Golden Tulip Essential Hotel, Lagos, upon arrival in Nigeria from his UK base since October 17 over charges of terrorism and conspiracy. Despite the fact that an Abuja High Court had ruled that he should be released, the federal government went ahead to press on new charges bordering on treasonable felony against him and two other defendants, Messrs Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.

How Ejiofo emerged…

Kanu’s wife, Mrs. Uchechi Okwu- Kanu, had broken the news of the hiring of Ejiofo in a statement issued from her London base. She said the decision was taken “in a meeting of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) held on January 9, 2016 at Forest Gate in East London.”

“It was unanimously decided that Mr. Vincent Obetta must drop out of this case for a combination of reasons I am reluctant to disclose in this letter for legal reasons,” Mrs. Okwu-Kanu said in the statement dated January 14, 2016. She announced the appointment of a new lawyer in the person of “Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofo to represent my husband in the case of DSS vs Nnamdi Kanu.”

Fresh charges…

The federal government has slammed fresh criminal charges against Kanu after he was released unconditionally by a Federal High Court on December 17. Kanu’s former counsel, Mr. Vincent Obeta, had said the federal government filed the fresh charges on December 18 at the same court that granted him bail.

The reassigning of the case…

Ejiofo, who is Kanu’s new lawyer had informed IBTimes UK that, “the case is now slated for arraignment and hearing of our pending application for his bail on January 18, 2016. “The motion for his bail was today, January 13, served on the attorney-general of the federation. They are yet to file any counter to the application. I and the defence team will now be leading the case.”

FG’s position…

President Muhammadu Buhari had stirred outrage after stating during his maiden media chat on December 30 that Kanu would not be freed in spite of the High Court ruling in favour of his release due to the “atrocities” allegedly committed.

The man Justice Tsoho…

Investigations by Saturday Telegraph on Justice Tsoho revealed that he had while as a judge in the Federal High Court, Lagos handled some high profile cases involving some prominent Nigerians in the past. It was also gathered that Justice Tsoho was a member of Class of 1985 of the Nigerian Law School (NLS), Abuja.

Some of the cases…

Some of the cases include his judgment in the case involving the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), from investigating the then governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, who was suspended from office during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In his ruling that absolved Sanusi from being investigated, Justice Tsoho said although the FRCN was saddled with the task of ensuring good governance in financial matters, their posturing shows that they are already prejudiced. Another landmark case, which Justice Tsoho handled was his order restraining the managements of Daar Communications Limited and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), from broadcasting any documentary against Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the then Vice-Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Tsoho had ordered the respondents – Daar Communications (owners of African Independent Television, AIT) and NTA – to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion on notice for interlocutory injunction. The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was also joined as respondents in the suit. “That leave is granted for the service of the Originating Summons and other accompanying court processes on the Respondents outside the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and in Abuja,” the judge said.

Interestingly, Justice Tsoho also on March 27, 2015, granted a former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, an interim injunction shielding him from possible arrest and detention by the Nigerian Army. Justice Tsoho, who granted the order, specifically barred the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah (rtd), and his privies from “arresting, detaining, harassing or intimidating the applicant”. Justice Tsoho further barred the defendants from laying siege to Tinubu’s house at number 26, Bourdillon Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The judge made the order in positive answer to a motion ex parte brought before him by the APC chieftain through his counsel, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN). The application, which was dated and filed on March 24, 2015, was equally backed up with an affidavit of urgency sworn to by one Sunday Dare.

In the sworn affidavit, Tinubu prayed the court for an order restraining the defendants from hindering him from participating in the 2015 general elections. He was equally the judge that voided the powers of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) from imposing fines on motorists for traffic offences.