The Federal Government on Monday explained why it had disobeyed the Court of Appeal’s ruling ordering it to release Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, or IPOB.
In an affidavit it submitted in support of its request to suspend the judgment’s implementation, FG referred to Kanu as “a flight risk person” and insisted that the case against him raises national security concerns.
“The Respondent is a flight risk person. It is important to appreciate the gamut of depositions in our application.
“One of the ground of our application is that this matter touches on national security of the state.
“We rely on the case of FRN Vs Dokubo, where the Supreme Court held that where national security is threatened or likelihood of it being threatened, human rights take secondary place.
“Once there is a threat to national security, human rights of any individual can be suspended until such threat is taken care of.
“Once security of the nation is in jeopardy, the individual right may not even exist”, FG argued through its lawyer, Mr. David Kaswe, an Assistant State Counsel in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
It further told the court that there is intelligence report that releasing Kanu from detention would worsen the security situation in the South East region.
However, Kanu’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, urged the appellate court to dismiss FG’s application, insisting that it was tantamount to seeking the stay of the liberty of a citizen.
“In fact, my lords, on the contrary, the release of Kanu will actually bring peace and tranquility to the South East in particular and the nation in general
“This was demonstrated after the judgement of this court that ordered the release of the Respondent. Immediately the judgement was delivered, there was so much joy and happiness in the entire South East. There was so much jubilation and merriment”, Ozekhome added.
He argued that Dokubo’s case was different from that of Kanu.