HomeFeaturesTreason: Court To Rule On Kanu’s Bail Application March 19

Treason: Court To Rule On Kanu’s Bail Application March 19

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed March 19, 2024, to rule on the fresh bail application filed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu. 

The court also scheduled March 20 for the commencement of the resumed trial.

The Eastern Updates recalls that Kanu had been standing trial on charges bordering on terrorism and treasonable felony since 2015.

He was earlier granted bail on health grounds on  April 25, 2017, after spending  18 months in detention but he fled the country after an invasion of his residence by the military in September 2017.

His trial was put on hold after the Court of Appeal discharged and acquitted Kanu in October 2022.

The appellate court also declared illegal and unlawful, the rendition of Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria and quashed the entire terrorism charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

However, the FG appealed against the judgment at the apex court.

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The Supreme Court in its judgement on December 15, 2023, ordered the continuation of Kanu’s trial.

The court held that there was no law in the country stopping a trial based on the violation of the rights of a suspect.

At Kanu’s resumed trial on Monday, both the defendant and the prosecution had new counsel.

Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) took over from David Kawse for the prosecution, and Alloy Ejimakor replaced Mike Ozehkome (SAN) for the defendant.

No explanation was provided in court for this change.

Awomolo told the court that the prosecution was ready for trial, urging the judge to be guided by the Supreme Court decision.

He said, “The Supreme Court affirmed your decision which preserved counts 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 15 were observed by your ruling in which the defendant pleaded not guilty.  We urge Your Lordship to continue the hearing of the case on merit.  We are ready to proceed with the matter and our witnesses are ready.  We urge Your Lordship to be guided by the order of the Supreme Court.

Ejimakor told the court he had filed an application for the bail of his client and a preliminary objection.

But  Awomolo urged the court to give him more time to go through the further and better affidavit filed by the defendant.

He said, “I am opposing the bail. The further and better affidavit is voluminous. We need to attend to it but we can take the preliminary objection.”

The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako lamented the actions of the counsel which according to her had led to proceedings being truncated in the past.

She said, “This is exactly the way this case has been going since 2015. I am talking to both sides. No one side is innocent of this. You have been truncating proceedings.I have written rulings nine times on Kanu’s bail applications in the past.  An application for bail does not forestall a trial.“

Ejimakor insisted that the bail application be heard as the health condition of Kanu was deteriorating.

He also said Kanu’s continued detention by the DSS was a threat to his life.

Ejimakor said, “I urge My Lord to grant the defendant bail. We want to emphasize that there are issues raised in the further and better affidavit, dated 22 February, supported by the 22-paragraph affidavit. Five exhibits were filed in addition to the initial four. I need to emphasize that the application is for bail and not reinstatement of bail.”

Ejimakor argued that the continued incarceration of Kanu would not enable him to put up a good defence in the matter.

He said,  “If we want a fair hearing in the matter, he can’t conduct an effective defence by remaining in custody. The DSS seized a process we took to him.

The DSS doesn’t allow us to take notes. They nearly naked my colleague Max Opera. They have secret listening devices in the room where we hold discussions. “

In his submission, Awolomo urged the court to dismiss the bail applicant and instead grant an accelerated hearing.

The Eastern Updates

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