As the trial of the leader of the proscribed IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, resumes on Monday, a former federal legislator who authored and co-sponsored the Terrorism Act Amendment Bill of 2013, Kayode Oladele, has called for a procedure which disallows those charged with terrorist acts from using the trials as a propaganda platform.
Kanu’s arrest from an unknown location and his extradition to Nigeria was announced on June 27 by the
country’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IPOB leader was consequently arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, amidst tight security on June 29.
The case was subsequently adjourned till July 26.
Oladele, a former Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Crimes in the 8th Assembly, however, canvassed the need for a closed trial of terrorists.
He advised the Federal Government to embrace secrecy in court terrorism trials, being the model used by several Western nations.
According to him, acts of terrorism are tantamount to acts of war.
The former lawmaker stated these in a five-page article entitled: “Terrosim Trials: An Overview of the Delicate Balance between National Security and Human Rights.”
The lawmaker said all terrorism trials anywhere in the world by their nature were always full of intricacies which involved several difficult legal issues bordering on procedure, conflict of laws including the protection of witnesses, issues of disclosure and the use of sensitive evidence during trials.
He urged the Federal Government to ensure a balancing between national security and fairness of proceedings at all stages through proper protection of human rights standards as an international law obligation by the state
The legal practitioner also advised the government to adopt secrecy in the process, maintaining that this had been the common practice globally.
He said: “Secrecy of terrorism trials, which is another common feature of terrorism trials globally, can be found in Nigerian law.
” Section 31(3) of the 2011 Act provides that the court may, on motion by or on behalf of the prosecuting agency, in the interest of public safety or order, exclude from proceedings instituted for any offence under this Act, any person other than the parties and their legal representatives.
“Surprisingly, the 2011 Terrorism Act did not create a separate court for the trial of terrorists.
” The jurisdiction is still vested in the Federal High Court which presumably is expected to use the same procedure used for the prosecution of other criminal cases in terrorism trials, a significant departure from what is obtainable in several other jurisdictions where in addition to secret trials, separate courts such as Military Tribunals are usually used for the trial of terrorism cases.”
He also quoted Section 30 of the 2011 Act as giving the Attorney- General of the Federation the general powers to institute and undertake criminal proceedings on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria even though he may “delegate his power to any agency charged with responsibility of terrorists investigation to institute criminal proceedings against any person in respect of offences categorised” in the Act, ” which he put forward as empowering the government to justify to mode of the proceedings. ”
“Realising that acts of terrorism are tantamount to acts of war, several Western nations including the United States and United Kingdom not only try most terrorism cases secretly by Special Tribunals, they also sometimes adopt special procedures in order to protect national security, public interest and also “achieve a high rate of conviction that would not be achievable in the regular courts, where “due process” is diligently pursued.
“In the trial of terrorists, therefore, the focus is mainly about “dispensing military justice attendant to a military conflict”, not necessarily (though important), the protection of the fundamental rights of the terrorists,” he said. (NAN)
Appeal Court Declines Oyetola’s Request To Move Tribunal To Abuja
The Appeal Court in Abuja has rejected Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s request to relocate the sitting of the tribunal to Abuja.
The Chief Registrar Court of Appeal, Bangari Umar, in a letter titled: RE: PETITION NO, EPT/OS/GOV/01/2022, ADEGBOYEGA ISIAKA OYETOLA & ANOR V. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & 2 ORS, on Friday rejected the proposal of Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate in the July 16 governorship election.
According to the note, Oyetola on August 23, wrote to the President of the Court, Justice M.B Dongban Mensem, on the subject matter.
The Court of Appeal noted that after due consultation on, and consideration of Oyetola’s request, the President of the Court was unable to accede to the proposal as the security agencies in the state have assured the Court of their cooperation and support in enhancing the security of the Tribunal and its sittings.
The letter read: “Kindly refer to your letter to the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal, dated 23rd August 2022 on the above subject matter.
“I am directed by the Honourable President, Hon. Justice M.B Dongban Mensem to inform you that after due consultation on, and consideration of your request to move the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal currently sitting in Osogbo to Abuja, the Hon. President is unable to accede to your request as the security agencies in the State have assured the Court of their co-operation and support in enhancing the security of the Tribunal and its sittings.”
Appeal Court Sets Aside N20bn Damages Awarded to Sunday Igboho
The Appeal Court in Ibadan on Tuesday has set aside N20 billion damages awarded to Sunday Igboho last year after the violent invasion of his residence in Ibadan.
Adeyemo had gone to court challenging the action which led to the death of some of his aides.
In its sitting, the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan nullified the judgement of an Oyo State High Court which awarded N20 billion damages to the Yoruba self-determination activist, popularly known as Igboho.
Delivering the judgement in an appeal filed by the Attorney General of the Federation, State Security Service and Director, State Security Service in Oyo State, Justice Muslim Hassan held that Justice Ladiran Akintola, who delivered the judgement on September 17, 2021, acted on the wrong principles of law in awarding the cost to Igboho.
He said that Justice Akintola can’t assess damages claimed by Igboho using his own conceived parameters.
Justice Hassan thereby set aside the earlier judgment which declared the attack on the house of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo illegal.
The court also nullified the N20 billion exemplary and aggravated damages awarded against the Department of State Security (DSS) for the attack, describing it as outrageous.
Justice Hassan held that the Oyo High Court ignored the merit of the case while assuming jurisdiction, adding that the judge should not have awarded damages based on his personal parameters.
Court Denies Abba Kyari Bail for the second time, Fixes October 19 For Trial
The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed October 19, 20 and 21 as the trial dates for the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and four others.
Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the trial dates in his ruling on Tuesday in Abuja.
He equally declined to grant bail to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and four others.
They are being prosecuted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on allegations bordering on a cocaine deal.
Kyari was arraigned alongside four suspended police officers including ACP Sunday Ubia, ASP James, Inspector Simon Agirigba and Inspector John Nuhu as 2nd to 5th defendants respectively.
Ruling on the bail application, Justice Emeka Nwite said the applicants failed to present sufficient materials and evidence to warrant the granting of the fresh application.
Justice Nwite, therefore, reaffirmed his earlier ruling of March 28, 2022, ordering an accelerated hearing.
According to the judge, Kyari and his other co-applicants did not show exceptional circumstances to warrant them being granted bail.
This is the second time the court would reject Kyari and others’ bail applications, having earlier turned down a similar request in April this year.
Meanwhile, the suspects are to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, pending the commencement of their trial in October.
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