The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, is to remain in the custody of the Department of State Service, (DSS) as a Federal high court in Abuja has shifted his trial on terrorism charges till November 14, 2022.
The IPOB leader lost the move to regain freedom, as the court dismissed his fresh application for bail which was filed, pending the determination of the treasonable felony charge against him by the Federal Government.
The trial was put on hold by Justice Binta Nyako who dismissed 8 out of 15 count charges brought against Kanu by the Federal Government and ordered his trial in the remaining 7 counts.
At Tuesday’s proceedings, however, Kanu’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome SAN, informed the court that his client has filed an appeal, marked CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022, at the Court of Appeal in Abuja challenging the competence of the seven counts.
He predicated his appeal on the ground that the alleged offences in the charges were committed outside the shores of Nigeria, hence, no court in the country has jurisdiction to try him.
The IPOB leader told the court that contrary to FG’s allegation that he jumped bail, he fled for his life after his home town at Afaraukwu Ibeku in Umuahia, Abia State, was invaded by soldiers, which he said led to the death of 28 persons.
While contending that he was denied a fair hearing before his bail was revoked, Kanu attached eight exhibits that included photographs, as well as an affidavit he deposed from Isreal, after he fled from the country.
Ozekhome prayed the court to stop further trial in the charges until the Court of Appeal decides the issues brought before it.
Dismissing the bail request, Justice Binta Nyako said she was not satisfied with the reason the IPOB leader gave for his failure to appear in court for the continuation of his trial.
“In fact, the sureties told the court that they did not know the whereabouts of the Defendant and even applied to be discharged from the matter.
“Therefore, Defendant was not denied a fair hearing”. She added.
the trial Justice, accordingly dismissed the application, for being an abuse of court process.
On his part, Counsel to the Federal Government, Mr David Kaswe, made spirited efforts to persuade the court to ignore the argument of Ozekhome on the ground that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 prohibits stay of criminal trial in the country.
Justice Nyako in a short ruling, upheld arguments of Ozekhome and shifted further trial till November 14 to await the outcome of the Court of Appeal decision.