According to Vanguard Newspaper, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, through his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, sued the federal government of Nigeria. As obtained from the report, the IPOB leader who is currently in detention, has prayed a Federal High Court in Umuahia, that he should be returned to Kenya, where he was repatriated from a couple of months ago.
The IPOB leader equally asked that the government should tender an apology to him, and as well pay him the sum of 5 billion Naira for an alleged violation of his rights. Since the news broke, many Nigerians have continued to react differently to it. It should be recalled that when Kanu was extradited from Kenya in July, there were questions surrounding the process that was followed to re- arrest and subsequently bring him back to Nigeria.
Arguably, the controversy that has surrounded Nnamdi Kanu’ s re- arrest in Kenya, and extradition to Nigeria, is behind the mixed reactions that are trailing his 5 billion Naira lawsuit against the federal government of Nigeria.
However, the question we may need to ask is whether the legal move could be right or wrong. In my view, Kanu’ s fresh suit demanding a 5 billion Naira compensation and a return to Kenya could be a wrong move. The reason for my position on this issue is not far- fetched.
It is common knowledge that the reason behind the re- arrest and repatriation of the IPOB leader, is to enable the continuation of his trials. Recall that he was accused of some crimes by the Nigerian government, and was being tried before he escaped from the country some years ago. As such, following his re- arrest, one would have expected that he and his legal team should, at least, wait to see the final outcome of his trials before demanding payment of damages.
It is often said that there is no absolute right. Every right has a corresponding responsibility, and being guilty of one crime or the other, could deny an individual his or her rights. With this in mind, it can be argued that Kanu’ s lawsuit against the federal government, demanding a compensation of 5 billion Naira for alleged violation of his rights, is a wrong move.