Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of London based Radio Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will today, Thursday, April 6, appear before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja for the continuation of his trial on treasonable felony.
Kanu, a political activist based in United Kingdom, was arrested in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on October 14, 2015, by the Department of States Services (DSS) on conspiracy and terrorism charges that were later changed to treason under President Buhari’s watch and has been held in prison since then despite various court orders that ruled for his release.
December 17, 2015, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, granted unconditional bail to Nnamdi Kanu.
In his ruling, Justice Ademola held that the continued detention of the Biafran leader after two months without trial violates Section 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution.
Justice Ademola’s ruling came after a Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja had discharged Mr. Kanu following the withdrawal of the charges leveled against him by the Department of States Services (DSS).
With the court ruling, Kanu’s lawyer then, Vincent Obeffa expressed optimism that the accused would be freed as he said the accused had no criminal cases against him in Nigeria or anywhere in the world and as such, he was a free man.
However, this was never to be as President Muhammadu Buhari during his media chat in December 2015, maintained that Kanu would not be released.
Referring to the Biafran leader, the President said: “And the one you are calling Kanu, do you know he had two passports, one Nigerian, one British, and he came into the country without any. Do you know he brought an equipment into this country and was broadcasting, Radio Biafra; which kind of government do you think should harbor that kind of person? There is a treasonable felony against him and I hope the court will listen to the case”.
Speaking on Biafra, Buhari said: ” “We will not allow anyone create a state within the Nigerian state”.
After President Buhari’s comment in December 2015 during his media chat, Kanu was denied bail later in January 2016.
Kanu will be appearing before Justice Binta Nyako today following the withdrawal of Justice John Tsoho from the case.
Justice Tsoho withdrew from the case on the 26th of September 2016 after he was accused of bias by Mr. Kanu.
“This case is hereby transferred to the CJ.” Justice Tsoho said.
Ever since then, Justice Binta Nyako has been in charge of the trial of the Biafran leader.
In a related development, a Biafran media outfit identified as ‘Family Writers’, founded by Pro-Biafra activist, Emeka Gift has accused President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government of plotting to assassinate Nnamdi Kanu.
Family Writers report that there is a plot to assassinate Mr. Kanu on his way to the Federal High Court, Abuja today, April 6, 2017.
“Information reaching the desk of Family Writers from a very reliable source confirms that there is an ongoing plot to Assassinate Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, The leader of The Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) tomorrow been the 6th of April 2017, on his way To the Federal High court Abuja”. The Biafran media wrote on its website on Wednesday night (April 5).
Meanwhile, Kanu alongside his co-accused, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi are facing six count charge of treasonable felony brought against them by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Although they have been granted bail twice by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the federal government has refused to obey the court orders, raising doubts over the possibility of Mr. Kanu and his co-accused regaining freedom anytime soon.