The regional court described the action of the Nigerian Government as unacceptable.
Speaking during today’s hearing, one of the judges on the three-man panel, Justice Alioune Sall said they were not in a Nigerian court but an international court which has a different way and “the process of bringing new documents every day is not allowed here.”
Sall said this after Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor told the court that it had scheduled today’s sitting for definite hearing.
Ejiofor said, however, “two days ago, my attention was drawn to a new process filed by the Federal Government challenging the authority of the court to hear the case.”
Describing the process filed by the Federal Government as baseless, Kanu’s counsel alleged that the purpose was to truncate today’s hearing.
“We want the matter to be heard speedily as the court had earlier ordered. But we are sure they (FG) do not have any defence for the substantial suit hence the reason they filed this new process to truncate the day’s hearing,” he said.
Ejiofor prayed the court to give them a short date to respond to the application. He also asked the court to award a punitive cost of N10 million against the FG.
Reacting to Ejiofor’s prayer, Federal Government’s counsel, Maimuna Lami Shiru, an Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, said they filed the application because the court had earlier asked for the issue to be addressed when new facts arise.
Shiru explained that the application filed on November 14 was to bring to the attention of the court that the IPOB had been proscribed by the government.
She consequently urged the court to discountenance Ejiofor’s prayer of N10million cost against the government.
After listening to both arguments, the three-man panel led by Justice Hameye Foune Mahalmadane thereafter adjourned the matter to February 7, 2018.