Court threatens to adjourn Nnamdi Kanu’s trial indefinitely

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A Federal High court, Abuja, on Wednesday, threatened to adjourn the trial of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, indefinitely.

Justice Binta Nyako made this known after Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, told the court that the legal team was not ready for the trial.

The development occurred after counsel for the Federal Government, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, informed the court that the prosecution was ready for the commencement of the trial based on the order of the court on the last adjourned date.

Earlier, Justice Nyako had heard the two pending applications filed by Ejimakor on Kanu’s behalf.

The first application sought an order restoring Kanu’s bail which was revoked in 2017 and the second application sought an order transferring the IPOB leader to a house arrest.

Ejimakor had argued that the revocation of his bail was a result of the act of the prosecution when his client’s home was invaded.

The lawyer argued that even the Supreme Court agreed that Kanu did not jump bail but only escaped for dear life.

He also insisted that there had been no change in the detention of the Department of State Service (DSS) where Kanu is currently kept.

He argued that the defendant’s legal team was not given unhindered access in accordance with Section 36(6) of the constitution to consult with him and adequately prepare for his defence.

Counsel to the federal government, however, urged the court to discountenance Ejimakor’s submissions.

The senior lawyer argued that the court was ”functus officio” to make another order vacating the earlier revocation order.

He said the court lacked the jurisdiction to make such an order and that the only option left for parties was to appeal.

He insisted that parties were bound by the court order.

Awomolo said the defence only relied on a side comment of (orbiter) one of the justices of the Supreme Court.

According to him, a side comment does not decide the main issue.

He argued that the detained Kanu was not being charged with money laundering but terrorism.

He described the terrorism charge as the worst charge today in Nigerian law.

Awomolo equally urged the court to dismiss the application seeking Kanu’s transfer to a house arrest, arguing that Ejimakor’s allegations were not backed by verifiable evidence.

He said the defence did not deny the fact that they were allowed access to their client.

“We have before your lordship signatures and names of all the counsel who have visited him,” he added.

He said that it was the discretion of the court to remand Kanu to a place that is safe and secure.

The lawyer further argued that what the defence team wanted was an executive and insecure place where Kanu could be kept.

Justice Nyako, who fixed May 20 for ruling on the two applications, directed the prosecution to call their witness.

When Awomolo, who already notified the court that they had a witness in court, said he was ready to proceed, Ejimakor insisted that they were not ready to proceed with the trial.

“We have not prepared our client for trial,” he said, adding that no lawyer would allow a trial when Section 36(6) of the constitution had not been respected.

But the judge threatened to adjourn the trial sine die (indefinitely) if Ejimakor insisted that the trial should not continue.

Ejimakor then applied for a stand down to enable him to consult with Kanu and other team of lawyers if the trial could continue and Justice Nyako stood the matter down for 10 minutes. (NAN)

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