Court to Rule on Kanu's Bail Application on March 19

Kalu at the courtroom
Kalu at the courtroom

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, will have the ruling on his fresh bail application by the Federal High Court in Abuja on March 19, 2024.

The court has set March 20 as the start date for the resumed trial proceedings.

Since 2015, Kanu had been facing trial for charges of terrorism and treasonable felony.

After spending 18 months in detention, he was granted bail on health grounds on April 25, 2017, but he fled the country following a military invasion of his residence in September 2017.

After the Court of Appeal discharged and acquitted Kanu in October 2022, his trial was put on hold.

The appellate court ruled the transfer of Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria as illegal and unlawful, and dismissed all terrorism charges filed against him by the Federal Government (FG).

However, the FG decided to appeal against the judgment at the apex court, resulting in the Supreme Court ordering the continuation of Kanu’s trial on December 15, 2023.

The court ruled that there is no law in the country that prohibits a trial from proceeding based on the violation of a suspect's rights.

Both the defendant and the prosecution had new counsel at Kanu’s resumed trial on Monday.

For the prosecution, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) took the place of David Kawse, and Alloy Ejimakor replaced Mike Ozehkome (SAN) for the defendant, with no explanation provided in court for the switch.

Awomolo informed the court that the prosecution was ready for trial and recommended that the judge be guided by the Supreme Court decision.

He said, “The Supreme Court affirmed your decision which preserved counts 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 15 were observed by your ruling in which the defendant pleaded not guilty. We urge Your Lordship to continue the hearing of the case on merit. We are ready to proceed with the matter and our witnesses are ready. We urge Your Lordship to be guided by the order of the Supreme Court.”

Ejimakor mentioned to the court that he had lodged an application for his client's bail and a preliminary objection.

However, Awomolo asked the court for an extension to review the defendant's further and better affidavit.

Justice Binta Nyako, the trial judge, expressed her frustration with the counsel's actions, which she believed had previously disrupted the proceedings.

Ejimakor stressed the importance of hearing the bail application as Kanu's health continued to deteriorate.

He further stated that the DSS's continued detention of Kanu was endangering his life.

Arguing his point, Ejimakor stated that Kanu's prolonged detention would impede his capacity to mount an effective defense in the case.

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