The affidavit was included as supporting documentation for a request to postpone the execution of the appellate court decision that completely overturned the federal government’s 15-count terrorism accusation against the controversial IPOB leader.
NewsReport gathered that David Kaswe, an Assistant State Counsel in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, argued before the court yesterday that the case against Kanu had potential national security implications. Kaswe said that Kanu’s inalienable rights shouldn’t take precedence over the good of the country.
Relying on the decided case law in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs Asari Dokubo, the federal government argued that once a case touched on national security, the right of the individual affected took a secondary place.
“It is important to appreciate the gamut of depositions in our application. The Respondent is a flight risk person and one of the grounds of our application is that this matter touches on the national security of the state.
“We further rely on the case of FRN Vs Dokubo, where the Supreme Court held that where national security is threatened or when there is a likelihood of it being threatened, human rights take a secondary place.
“Once there is a threat to national security, the human rights of any individual can be suspended until the such threat is taken care of.
“Once the security of the nation is in jeopardy, the individual right may not even exist,” the government’s lawyer argued.
Besides, he told the court that an intelligence report in the government’s possession indicated that releasing the IPOB leader from detention would worsen the security situation in the South East.
“The defendant has shown that he has the capacity to jump bail or to escape from lawful custody. There is reasonable intelligence that the enforcement of the judgment of this court, pending the determination of our appeal at the Supreme Court, may impact negatively the declining security in the South East.
“No court can close its eyes on activities happening around it. As we speak, the entire social media is awash with threats to security in the country.
“We believe that there is an exceptional circumstance to warrant this court to grant our application.
“We urge this court to resolve the sole issue we raised and find our application meritorious, in the interest of justice and unity of the country,” the federal government’s lawyer added.
However, Kanu’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, urged the appellate court to dismiss FG’s application which he said was tantamount to seeking the stay of the liberty of a citizen.
Ozekhome argued that contrary to FG’s position, Kanu’s release from detention would guarantee peace in both the South East and the country
He said: “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 judgment of this court that ordered the release of the Respondent. Immediately after the judgment was delivered, there was so much joy and happiness in the entire South East. There was so much jubilation and merriment.”
He argued that Dokubo’s case was different from that of Kanu.