ECOWAS’s sub regional community court sitting in Abuja lacks “the requisite jurisdiction” to hear and determine a matter by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu according to the Federal government.
The government writing an objection No. ECW/CCJ/APP/06/16 said the court shouldn’t hear or consider a matter brought before it by Biafra leader.
It has advised the court to dismiss and/or strike out the action for want of jurisdiction, “stemming from incompetency in initiating the application against the defendants.”
The administration described the move of plaintiff who proceeded to the ECOWAS court instead of waiting for conclusion of his application before the Nigerian Domestic Court of Appeal on his bail as “an abuse of court process or subjecting the Nigerian law to ridicule.”
Kanu was being charged under existing Nigerian domestic laws and as such cannot correctly file the suit before the sub-regional court.
“The corporate existence of Nigeria as a united, harmonious, indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation is certainly greater than any citizen’s liberty or right and it survives in pieces rather than in peace, individual’s liberty or rights may not even exist,” it said.
“It is trite law that a court cannot assume jurisdiction over ancillary claims when it has no jurisdiction to entertain the main claim, since an ancillary claim can only be properly determined by that court. Thus, it is improper to approach a court which is incompetent to determine only some of the issues in a case if there is a court with jurisdiction to determine all the issues.”
The government further submitted that the court has no authority over the two defendants because they, “are neither member-states or community institutions of ECOWAS and therefore, not amenable to the jurisdiction of the community court of justice”.
It advised the court to strike out their names as parties in the matter, underlining that there is neither factual nor documentary proof to any claim against them.
Kanu, who is accused of treasonable felony, has dragged President Buhari to ECOWAS for the violation of his fundamental rights, that of his colleagues, as well as those of his supporters.
The IPOB leader was arrested in October 2015 by the Department of State Services after he had arrived from UK to Lagos. He has since been granted bail, but not released. Kanu’s detention caused pro-Biafra rallies and protests all over Nigeria and abroad