* Says he is ready to face trial if safety is guaranteed
By Alex Enumah in Abuja
The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has asked Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja to restore his bail in an alleged treasonable felony trial in Nigeria.
The request, which was contained in an application filed on April 1, was on Thursday moved by his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.
Kanu is standing trial on a five-count criminal charge including treasonable felony.
However Justice Nyako had granted him bail in April 2017 on health grounds after spending 19 months in detention.
The bail was however revoked on March 28, this year after his disappearance following an invasion on his family home by military personnel in September 2017.
At the resumed trial Thursday in Abuja, Ejiofor told the court that Kanu was ready to face trial if his safety would be guaranteed by the court.
“We have an application for bail filed on April 1, 2019, the application was served on the prosecution and it is ripe for hearing.
“We urge the court to restore his bail on the ground that the court will guarantee his safety when he comes back to the country to continue his trial,” he said.
Responding, the counsel to the federal government, Labaran Shuaibu, opposed the application on the grounds that he was just seeing the process for the first time.
Shuaibu urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable them file the necessary processes.
In a short ruling, Justice Nyako adjourned the matter till January 16, 2020, but noted that Kanu’s safety can only be guaranteed in prison custody.
She said even judges are no longer safe in the country.
“Even judges are being abducted in the country. So prison is the only safest place for him,” she said.
Justice Nyako in revoking Kanu’s bail earlier this year also ordered for his re-arrest.
The judge also ordered that the trial would continue in the absence of the IPOB leader.