Kanu Remains in DSS Custody, Court Rules

•Embattled Biafran leader reacts, takes over own defence

Alex Enumah in Abuja

Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, refused to order the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Kanu, who has been in DSS’ custody since 2021, when he was rearrested and brought to continue his trial, argued that he could not prepare adequately for his trial while being held by the secret service.

In an application argued last month, the defendant asked the court to restore his bail which was revoke in 2019, or ordered that he be kept under house arrest.

Delivering ruling in the application on Monday, Justice Nyako declined the request, and expressed confidence that the DSS’ custody is the proper place for the defendant.

The judge, in addition, refused to set aside its earlier orders revoking his bail in 2019, adding that the Supreme Court’s Judgment was silent on Kanu’s bail in the lead judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim.

However, the judge ordered the DSS to provide the applicant with a clean room where he can meet with his lawyers, who must not be more than five at a time.

Meanwhile, the court threatened to take any further application regarding the issues resolved as an abuse of court process because she has repeatedly decided on them.

Nevertheless, there was a mild drama when Kanu, rising from the dock objected to his continued trial before the court.

The angry IPOB leader informed Justice Nyako that his continued trial was illegal and unconstitutional as it violated international treaties Nigeria freely entered into.

He claimed Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, forbade his trial in any court in Nigeria, adding that those who were trying him were themselves “terrorists”.

His words: “My Lord, I don’t understand why my trial is being conducted contrary to the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Kanu said.

While insisting that the Supreme Court had made a pronouncement on his case, the IPOB leader submitted that, “Anything you do on the contrary is an act of terrorism.

“This man is a terrorist for conducting a trial in violation of an international treaty that Nigeria entered into. Once a treaty is entered into and signed, it becomes a law.

“You are a dishonest man. You are a terrorist”, Kanu shouted at prosecution lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, saying as current Chairman of the Body of Benchers, he ought to uphold the Constitution and refrain from trying him.

Faulting his trial further, Kanu who read from a portion of Justice Nyako’s previous ruling from a document at his disposal, said until the court investigated the circumstances that led to his fleeing from Nigeria, it was wrong to refuse to grant him bail, adding: “My lord, you have not investigated.”

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