The legal team of Namdi Kanu, the indigenous leader of Biafra (IPOB), said on Wednesday that the Nigerian government must not fail to present him in federal court in Abuja on Thursday.
The State Security Service (SSS), in whose custody Mr Kanu is now being held, did not take him to trial planned for July.
Kanu has been tried for state crimes related to his separatist activities. The case will continue on Wednesday before judge Binta Neko.
The separatists, who were released on bail in April 2017, fled after the military stormed his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia, by military in September of that year, a situation reported by one Mr Kanu, Alloy Ejimakor as “the rule of self-preservation”.
Mr Nyako then withdrew his statement and ordered that his case be separated from the other defendants.
While the trials of the other defendants have made some progress, Canoe’s trial has stalled since 2017.
On 29 June 2021, Federation Attorney General Abubakar Malami announced that Kanu had been arrested again and had returned to Nigeria to continue his trial.
He said the IPOB leader had been “found” days earlier but did not provide any details.
While there is no official information about where and how Kanu was arrested, relatives and lawyers of the IPOB leader have explained how he was “kidnapped” in the controversial situation in Kenya.
His legal team announced a few days ago that the charges against him had been changed to seven charges.
Ifeani Ehiofor, one of the best members of his defense team, told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday, ahead of the reassignment of Kanu, along with the rest of the team, that the federal government should “bring their client to justice.
“That tomorrow, October 21, 2021, must be holy. Our client, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, must and will be represented in court for trial,” said Pak Ejiofor.
He said that despite the exclusion of Fiat by Federal Court Chief Justice John Tsoho, Kanu’s trial would take place during the annual court holiday, the federal prosecutor’s office deliberately retained the courtroom.
“Journalists should be allowed to report on proceedings”
Reaching out to security officials to allow lawyers and journalists to participate in the IPOB leader’s trial, Ejiofor said, “The shame shown publicly by overzealous security officials on 26 July 2021 must not be repeated.”
In the latest trial in which journalists and lawyers were manipulated, Kanu, who was detained by the State Security Service (SSS), was not brought to trial, a development Prosecutor Mohamed proposed. Abubakar was charged with “asking a question”. .
Advising supporters of IPOB leaders, Ejiofor said that “everyone should be polite in their behavior, as you always do,” adding that “not everyone will have access to the courtroom”.
“Change fee for seven smoke curtains”
Recalling the manner in which Kanu was arrested in Kenya and his subsequent trial on 29 June 2021, Ejiofor insists that his client has been “persecuted”.
️Last week, the Nigerian government slammed an amended seven-count charge against Mr Kanu.
A notice titled, Federal Republic of Nigeria Versus Nnamdi Kanu’ with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/15, has been served on Mr Ejiofor and the prosecuting lawyer, Shuaibu Labaran, PREMIUM TIMS confirmed Wednesday.
A copy of the notice seen by our reporter stated that the case would be “transferred from the General Cause List to the hearing paper for Thursday, 21st October 2021at 9 o’clock forenoon and will come on to be on that day if the business of the court permits or otherwise on some adjustment day of which you will receive no further notice.”
“If either party desires to postpone the hearing, he must apply to the court as soon as possible for that purpose and if the application is based on any matter of fact, he must be prepared to give proof of those facts.
“The parties are warned that at the hearing, they are required to bring forward all the evidence by witnesses or by documents which each of them desires to rely on in support of his own case and in contradiction of that of his opponent.
“The proof will be required at the hearing and not on a subsequent day, and parties failing to bring their evidence forward at the proper time may find themselves absolutely precluded from adducing it at all, or at best only allowed to do so on payment of substantial costs to the other side, and on such other terms as the court deems fits to impose.
“Parties desirous to enforce the attendance of witnesses should apply at once to the court to issue one or more summonses for the attendance of the witnesses required,” the document added.
Other members of Mr Kanu’s legal team at Wednesday’s press briefing included, Alloy Ejimakor, Maxwell Okpara and Bruce Fein, IPOB lawyer in the United States.
‘Why IPOB sit-at-home order remains effective’
Mr Ejiofor explained that the regular Monday sit-at-order in the South-east was still being observed “because people are yet to see and believe that Nnamdi Kanu is still alive.”
He also lamented the alleged arrest and detention of over 20 indigenes of Ebonyi State who had travelled to the Federal High Court in Abuja to witness Mr Kanu’s trial on July 26.