A retired Court Of Appeal judge, Oludotun Adefope-Okojie had said the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was set free from the treasonable felony charges preferred against him by the Nigerian government, because no authority must be allowed to go against its own domestic laws and international laws.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division had in October 2022 discharged Nnamdi Kanu and cleared him of the treasonable felony charges preferred against him by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government.
The three-member panel of Justices of the Appellate Court, in a judgement delivered on Thursday, had set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which quashed 8 out of 15 counts charge against Kanu.
The appellate court had agreed with counsel to the IPOB leader, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) that, Kanu was illegally abducted and extra-ordinarily renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria, against both, International and local lows.
Speaking, Justice Adefope-Okojie, one of the three-member panel of justices of the Appeal Court that set free Kanu, of the treasonable felony charges, pointed out that no country or business wanted to invest in a country where judicial disputes took forever to conclude.
She spoke during the valedictory court session organised in her honour by the court in Lagos State, adding that a country that seeks foreign investment must get its court system functional, accelerated and receptive to the needs of the domestic and international people.
She affirmed that the courts must never shy away from calling the executive to order when they resort to acts of executive lawlessness.
She said; “The judiciary is the last hope of this country and must not allow itself to be influenced by any consideration other than to do justice in all matter. It must live up to its duty to protect the people and to deliver justice to the deserving. In doing this, it must be insulated from politics and must, where necessary, be bold enough to call the executive to order.
“I restate an injunction I expressed in the judgment in the case of Nnamdi vs Federal Republic of Nigeria in Appeal No CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022 delivered on 13th October 2022, in which I was privileged to write the leading judgment that:
“The courts must never shy away from calling the executive to order when they resort to acts of “executive lawlessness.” The duty of the courts is to maintain a balance between ensuring that law and order is obeyed and the protection of the individual from oppressive actions by the executive.
“I stand by this position. No authority must be allowed to go against its own domestic laws and international laws to perpetrate any act against its citizens.”
The retired judge, who spent 27 years on the bench, maintained that it was not acceptable that a case averagely takes more than five years to conclude at trial, more than three years in the Court of Appeal and an average of about 12 years in the Supreme Court.
Justice Adefope-Okojie, also pointed out that no country or business wants to invest in a country where judicial disputes take forever to conclude at all.
She, therefore, suggested that the judiciary should embrace arbitration to speed up justice delivery.