By Chikwas Onu Ikpe, and Princewill Akubumma
The Biafra Times
31st October 2019
ABUJA - The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, today, acknowledged an application filed by the counsel to the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, seeking the vacation of the bench warrant issued against his client [Kanu], and restoring the bail revocation.
Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor Esq., Kanu's lawyer, via a written application filed on April 1, 2019, prayed the court to set aside the order bothering the arrest of his client; stressing that his client is ready to defend his case.
“My Lord, we explained to the court through the application, what transpired on September 14, 2017; that it should be heard through the horse's mouth. My Lord, to that effect, my client is ready to come for trial, if the Lordship would guarantee his safety.”
Conversely, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu M. Labaran as opposed to the application, denied acknowledgment of same, saying he was just seeing the process; hence, sought time within which to respond to the application.
“My Lord, we intend to oppose this application for many reasons; in doing so, we urge your Lordship to give us an adjournment for ruling our arguments in respect of this case.”
Bring to mind that trial Justice Binta Nyako had on March 28, 2019, ordered the re-arrest of the IPOB leader, revoking the bail granted to him; following his “unavailability” to face trials.
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Ensuing the (severed) case of Kanu's co-defendants, a ‘trial within trial’ was put to effect to ascertain the voluntariness of the 2nd defendant, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe, in tendering his statement, which was purportedly made under duress. In that regards, the final written addresses from both parties were adopted by the court.
The presiding judge, upon delivering judgement, explained how she could guarantee Kanu's safety. She said, “You're all aware of the security issues in the country; even the judges are being abducted.
“The only way I can guarantee his safety is to be in prison. So if he is ready to come back, I will keep him in the prison custody; there he is safe (more safe) because they will not go and abduct him in prison.”
Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the matter till January 16, 2020, for final ruling on the ‘trial within trial,’ and continuation of the substantive suit.