- The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra has asked the Federal High Court to squash all charges against him
- Nnamdi Kanu said the charges leveled against him by the Department of State Security are baseless
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to squash all charges leveled against him by the Federal Government.
Speaking in court on Tuesday, January 10, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s lawyer said all the six-count charges against Kanu were baseless.
Ejiofor who brought applications before the court also said his client’s relatives and visitors were either being harassed or arrested by security agents in Kuje prison.
Kanu’s counsel alleged threat and intimidation to his personal life and that of his family by members of the Department of State Securities.
At the commencement of the trial against Kanu and three others, Ejiofor told the court that on several occasions members of IPOB and relatives of the defendants have been harassed and arrested by security officials during their visit to Kanu in Kuje prison.
He also said he suspects that those arrested have been killed by the security operatives.
Also, concurring to Ejiofor, counsel to the third defendant, Barrister Maxwell Opara said the security operatives have harassed him personally as a lawyer.
"Many times, the DSS will ask you for your name, your thumb print, they even asked for my village address, a lawyer, my lord," Opara said.
"My lord, this is just a criminal trial, all this unnecessary tension is uncalled for.
"You go to the prison to see your client by 9am and you will not see him until 12 noon," Opara said.
However, in her reaction Nyako said: "From day one I told you this is not a drama point, I don't want drama."
"If you have a personal problem with security operatives and bring it formally and I will make a legal pronouncement on it.
"If they have been misbehaving in the prison when you go to see your client, you let me know formally and I'll will contact them legally.
"But you have nothing formally on these allegations, I cannot do it for you because if I do, I have taking a position on the matter," Nyako said.
Meanwhile, having heard his notice to make applications before the court, the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako in her ruling said all applications before the court will be taken together and ruling subsequently given on the matter in two days.
The judge said by the end of hearing on the applications, two things are bound to happen.
"It is either we continue on the trial or we squash the charges as applied,” Nyako said.
She further adjourned the matter to Thursday, January 12.
Kanu’s trial commenced today, January 10, before Justice Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
During the trial, the witnesses, defendants, judge and counsels to both parties were shielded behind a blue screen guard.
Members of the public seated in the court could only hear voices and correspondence between all parties involved but could not see their faces.