Court adjourns Nnamdi Kanu’s case for trial

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday adjourned the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), until 19 April.

Binta Nyako, the judge, before whom Mr Kanu is being tried by the Nigerian government for terrorism, fixed the date for the commencement of trial.

At the adjourned date, the prosecuting lawyer, Adegboyega Awolowo, promised to call at least two witnesses that day. Mr Awomolo’s appearance on Monday is an indication of the federal government’s drastic shake-up in its prosecution team. It’s the first time an external prosecutor will be leading the federal government’s team since the case started in 2015.

Mr Kanu’s trial resumed on Monday following the Supreme Court judgement on 15 December 2023.

The Supreme Court last December restored Mr Kanu’s trial after setting aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal freeing the IPOB leader.

Mr Kanu is standing trial for terrorism before Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Fresh bail request

At the resumed proceedings on Monday, Mr Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, argued a fresh application for his client’s bail.

Mr Ejimakor hinged his client’s bail request on provisions of the Nigerian constitution that provide that a defendant is entitled to adequate time and resources to prepare for his defence.

Also, the lawyer raised a plethora of issues hampering the effective preparation of the IPOB leader for his defence.

Mr Ejimakor decried the attitude of operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) who he said “eavesdrop” on confidential conversations between Mr Kanu and his legal team.

He raised concerns about Mr Kanu’s deteriorating health condition, urging the judge to release the IPOB lead on bail.

But, the prosecuting lawyer, Mr Awolowo, disagreed with Mr Ejimakor.

Mr Awolowo told the judge to dismiss Mr Kanu’s bail application and the preliminary objection to the commencement of trial.

He said the requests were “irritating” as they lacked legal basis.

Mr Awomolo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, brought on board by the new Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, was the external prosecutor that secured the conviction of a former federal lawmaker, Farouk Lawan, over the 2012 fuel subsidy probes bribery. Mr Lawan’s conviction was finally affirmed by the Supreme Court in January.


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