Court Decides Whether to Quash Kanu’s Trial, April 8

Alex Enumah in Abuja

Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, will on April 8, decide whether she can continue with the trial of detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu.

Justice Nyako on Wednesday adjourned to the said date to deliver her ruling in the application filed by Kanu seeking to quash the charges brought against him by the federal government.

The IPOB leader is standing trial on an amended 15-count charge bordering on alleged reasonable felony, amongst others.

Although he had pleaded not guilty to all the charges, he however filed an application to quash the charges for lacking in merit and having no substance.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, Kanu’s lead lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), before arguing the application to quash the charges and free the IPOB leader, complained bitterly that the Department of State Services (DSS) has continued to defy court’s orders that Kanu be allowed to change his clothes.

Ozekhome said for three times, Kanu’s younger brother has been refused access to the DSS facility where Kanu is being kept.

Moreso, the lead counsel lamented that since Kanu was arrested and detained, his eye glasses were seized by the DSS and has not been returned to him.

“My Lord, we demand that the reading glasses of the defendant be returned to him. We can’t afford to allow him go blind,” Ozekhome stated.

He also urged the court to quash, strike out and dismiss the 15-count amended charge against Kanu for being “incompetent and denying the court of jurisdiction” to entertain the 15-count amended charge.

However, the federal government’s lawyer, Mr Labaran Shuuaibu, urged the court to discountenance the submission of the defendant, adding that Kanu’s deposition in some paragraphs of his application touches the substance of the case.

Labaran, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the application and ordered the defendant to face his trial.

Meanwhile, the prosecution told Justice Nyako that the clothes brought by Kanu’s brother was inappropriate hence their refusal to accept the clothes.

Justice Nyako, in a short ruling, ordered that only plain clothes should be taken to the defendant, if he must change his clothes.

The judge subsequently adjourned till April 8, to rule on Kanu’s application to quash the charges against him.

She however declined hearing in the bail application on the grounds that the application seeking to quash the charges, as well as challenging the court’s jurisdiction takes precedence.

Details later…

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