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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Biafra: Judge hands-off Kanu's trial

Biafra: Judge hands-off Kanu, others’ trial

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri & Nwabueze Okonkwo

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, withdrew from the trial of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.

This was even as Kanu, who has been in detention since October 17, yesterday, declined to enter his plea to the fresh six-count charge that was preferred against him by the Federal Government.

Kanu is facing trial alongside two other pro-Biafra agitators, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.

The trio were in the charge that was signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, Mr. Mohammed Diri, alleged to have committed treasonable felony, an offence said to be punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

They were alleged to be managing the affairs of the IPOB which it described as “an unlawful society.”

At the hearing in the matter, yesterday, for the formal arraignment of the accused persons, Kanu, sought the permission of the trial judge to address the court.

Speaking from the dock, Kanu, who was flanked by the other two accused persons, gave reasons he would not subject himself to trial before Justice Mohammed.

The IPOB leader said he had no confidence that the court would grant him fair trial, saying he would rather remain in detention than to be subjected to the rigours of trial that would eventually amount to nothing.

Kanu insisted that the Department of State Services, DSS, had since his travail commenced, shown that it had a knack for disrespecting valid court orders.

He said: “Based on information available to me, I am convinced that I will not receive fair trial before this court. I will therefore, not sacrifice the due process of the law founded upon the principle of natural justice, on the altar of speedy release from detention.

“In other words, I will rather remain in detention than to subject myself to a trial that I know amounts to perversion of justice. There has been several rulings delivered by competent courts of jurisdiction which the DSS, never respected.”

At that juncture, the DPP, Diri, who is prosecuting the matter for the government, interjected, saying it was premature for the 1st accused person, Kanu, to start raising such issues.

“My lord, under section 396(2) of the ACJA, an objection to trial may be raised by the defendant only after plea is taken, but not before. In this case, the defendant has decided to put the cart before the horse by raising objection to his trial before the charge are read to him and his plea taken.

“I urge your lordship to over-rule the objection of the 1st defendant and order that the charge be read to the three accused persons for the purpose of taking their plea,” the DPP submitted .

Responding, Kanu’s lead counsel, Mr. Egechukwu Obetta, urged the court to ignore the DPP and accede to the request of his client.

Ruling on the issue yesterday, Justice Mohammed, disqualified himself from handling the matter, saying he will remit the case-file to the Chief Judge of the High Court for re-assignment to another Judge.

The judge said: “I am of the view that the 1st defendant has the inalienable right to object to being tried by this particular court. I sincerely see nothing wrong with the 1st defendant’s objection considering that justice is rooted in confidence. If any of the party has no confidence in the court, that party has a right to raise the issue.

It will be recalled that the arraignment was also stalled on Tuesday following the absence of both the prosecution and the accused persons in court, a situation that infuriated Kanu’s lawyer, who maintained that the fresh charge was merely a ploy by FG to retain his client in detention.

1 comment

  1. The zoo called Nigeria must fall and the pedophile and child rapist Muhammadu Buhari should take note that, he will never go unpunished, God of heaven will always expose all their evil secrets to we the IPOB.
    We are not going to retreat nor surrender because we are formidable, and if they want war...we are ever ready for that, whether the world, the news media, the UN, NATO, RED CROSS, world leaders and all the rest of them like let them go ahead and keep on ignoring the killing of the Bifrans in that contraption called Nigeria, but we promise them, both the lazy and sluggish Yorubas and their junk news media that, when Biafra will come, they will not know but, they shall see it with their eyes.
    Long live NNAMDI KANU, live all the family members of IPOB...Indigenous People Of Biafra because we are all over the world and may God almighty continue to guide and bless you all, Amen! and Iseee!!. THE ZOOLOGICAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA IS A TERRORIST NATION WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE BRITISH(UNITED KINGDOM) THEIR FATHER AND IT MUST FALL!!, THEY ARE GREAT BRITAIN AND UNITED KINGDOM BUT THEY ARE PUTTING VIOLENT, DIVISION AND CAUSING CONFUSION IN OTHER COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD. THEY ARE EVIL AND THEY WILL PAY FOR IT AS WELL.

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