Judiciary

FG’s amended charges stall Kanu’s trial

...To take plea Wednesday

By James Jibril, Abuja

The trial of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu was today stalled at the Federal high court, Abuja, following an objection by his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN

The Senior Advocate, while reacting to the federal government amendment to 15 count charges barely twenty hours to the resumed trial, said it would be unfair and against the interest of justice if his client is allowed to take a plea on a charge he was only served yesterday.

Chief Ozekhome, who had earlier announced his appearance for Kanu in the matter, added that the proof of evidence was also not legible to allow them respond appropriately.

The federal government had on Monday, January 17, filed an amendment to the alleged terrorism charge against the separatist agitator.

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Although all the pending applications regarding the suit were supposed to be heard on the adjourned date of January 19, 2022, the judge, however, brought forward the hearing to January 18, following a request by Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.

However, when the case was called, prosecution counsel, Shuaib Labaran, informed the court of an amendment to the charge and prayed that the court direct its registrar to read the fresh charge to the defendant.

Ozekhome then pleaded with the court to allow them meet with Kanu, discussed the fresh charge so that he can take his plea tomorrow.

Since the prosecution did not object to the short adjournment, trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, accordingly adjourned till Wednesday for arraignment on the 15 new charges.

Meanwhile, the court directed that Kanu meet with his lawyers inside the courtroom for some minutes before being taken into custody by the Department of State Service (DSS).

The amendment which is the second in a space of roughly three months is the sixth since the case was filed in 2015.

Kanu is standing trial on an amended seven count criminal charge bordering on alleged terrorism and treasonable felony.

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