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Court orders Nnamdi Kanu to enter his defence, adjourns until June 19 for trial



A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, ordered Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to enter his defence following the dismissal of his fresh application for bail.

Justice Binta Nyako, in a ruling, fixed June 19 and June 20 for commencement of trial of Kanu on alleged treasonable felony.

Earlier in the ruling on the IPOB leader’s application, filed by his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, Justice Nyako dismissed the motion seeking an order setting aside the 2017 order revoking his bail for alleged abscondment from trial.

The judge also rejected Kanu’s request to be kept under a house arrest or be transferred to Kuje Correctional Centre in the event that his application for an order vacating the revocation order of his bail was overruled.

Justice Nyako, who said that the court had severally decided on the issue of his bail plea, said the only option left for him was to appeal the ruling.

The judge held that any further application on this ground would be regarded as an abuse of court process.

“I have found and held that the present place of applicant’s detention is is a proper place.

“Any further application will be regarded as an abuse of court proces,” she said.

However, the judge ordered the Department of State Service (DSS) to always grant Kanu access to his lawyers, not exceeding five people on every visiting day, contrary to the earlier ruling granting three persons per visit.

She also increased the number of days for visitation from two to three days.

She equally ordered that Kanu must be given “a clean place” to consult with his lawyers at the DSS detention facility, and his lawyers be allowed to take note.

The judge restated that the defendant should be allowed access to a doctor of his choice.

Meanwhile, shortly after the ruling, Kanu rose from the dock and objected to his continued trial before the court.

The IPOB leader told Justice Nyako that his continued trial was illegal and unconstitutional as it violated international treaties Nigeria freely entered into.

He insisted that the Federal Government violated the constitution and other international treaties following his alleged forceful rendition to Nigeria.

“My lord, you said in your earlier ruling that you will not grant me bail until you make a determination about the reason for my disappearance.

“But you have not done so,”

“At this stage, I am of the opinion that you can’t try me without first looking into that.

“The criminals came to my house to kill me!

“I don’t understand why my trial must be conducted contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“This is the law of Nigeria as of today,” Kanu said, waving a bunch of law books in the dock.

Continued, he said: “This court is in violation of the laws of Nigeria. Section 2(3)(f) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, is very clear.”b

The Federal Government’s lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, interjected and asked Kanu’s legal team to call him to order.

Awomolo also told Justice Nyako not to continue to allow Kanu, a defendant, to speak from the dock against the rules of the court, even when he had legal representation.

Responding, Kanu accused Awomolo of being a terrorist.

“This man is a terrorist for conducting a trial in violation of an international treaty that Nigeria entered into. Once a treaty is entered into and signed, it becomes a law”.

“They are all terrorists! No court can try me in Nigeria. Anything done in violation of any treaty entered into by Nigeria is an act of terrorism.

“This man here is a terrorist as at today. He is a dishonest man! You are a terrorist! Who the hell are you? Follow what the law says.

“I have been in detention for over three years. You are the Chairman of the Body of Benchers and you are violating the laws of this country,” he told the senior lawyer.

He also restated that the law provided that the defendant should be given unfettered access to his lawyer in the defence of his case.

Awomolo, who was surprised by Kanu’s outburst, said he was not angry about it and that he was not a terrorist.

“I am not a terrorist and I am not provoked by the action of the defendant. It is understandable. He is only being emotional,” he said.

Justice Nyako, who said she was not a persecutor, said even if Kanu was in a prison, there would always be conditions for visitation.

She said she had given conditions which might be contrary to the DSS practice but that the security outfit must comply with the court order.

“When I am making an order, I am taking into consideration all sides.

“The defendant has to be alive to stand his trial,” the judge said.

Taiye Agbaje

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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