Nnamdi Kanu’s trial to continue after judges’ withdrawal

Nnamdi Kanu
Nnamdi Kanu

The treason trial of the leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, will still go on despite the withdrawal of another judge from the case, lawyers have said.

Justice John Tsoho of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had on Monday stepped down from the case following a petition by Mr. Kanu to the National Judicial Council, demanding the probe of the judge.

In the petition through his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the IPOB leader said the judge gave parallel judgements on the same request, describing it as “judicial rascality”.

Upon resumption of the matter on Monday, Mr. Ejiofor said after Mr. Tsoho decided in favour of the defence in an application for the protection of witnesses by the prosecution, and later ruled in favour of the prosecution, without seeking the permission of a higher court.

The judge, after stepping aside, vowed not to preside over the case even if it was returned to him.

“Even if I am cleared of any bias by the NJC, I will not continue with this case,” he said.

Mr. Tsoho was the second judge to hands off the case. Justice Ahmed Mohammed, also of the Federal High Court, withdrew in December 2015, after Mr. Kanu said he had no confidence in him.

The IPOB leader, who has been in detention since October, is facing treason charges preferred against him by the Nigerian government.

Although Mr. Kanu, brought to court when Mr. Tsoho was giving his ruling, was calm, members of his family as well as his supporters were excited over the withdrawal of the judge from the case.

His mother, two sisters and a brother, alongside the supporters were heard hailing the withdrawal of the judge.

Lawyers who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, said the withdrawal of the judges would not lead to the termination of the case.

“It doesn’t end there,” a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ahamba, said. “The chief judge knows what to do. There are many judges in the court. The chief judge will reassign the case to another judge.”

Another lawyer, Yusuf Ali, said in such situations, the case file would be sent back to the chief judge to act on.

He said: “The case is not terminated. The case file will be sent to the chief judge to reassign.”

Mr. Ali however said the case would have to start afresh if the judge that stepped down was already hearing it.

Tunji Abayomi told this newspaper that the case will go back to the judge to be re-assigned.

Another lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, said the case would continue until the last judge in the judiciary stepped down from it.

“Technically, the case will continue until the last judge in the judiciary withdraws from the case. There are many judges to try the case. The case will continue,” Mr. Ogunye said.

“In reality however, when judges withdraw from a case it makes it more difficult for other judges to take it because it would appear as if judges are passing buck.”

The lawyer explained that judges withdraw from cases upon discovery there was conflict of interest.

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  • Egbu Yugo

    This case can drag for years

    • Adrusa

      And Kanu remains in prison.

      • dele20

        Namidiot cow-nu

    • Julius

      While his dumb ass remains in prison.


        The important thing is for the struggle to keep gaining momentum and Nnamdi is a leader , he is not Yoruba.

        • Tunji Olarewaju

          While you stay enjoying with your family, the Idiota languishes in Kuje


            Nnamdi is a leader and he has vowed to sacrifice for what he believes in, that should not disturb your break-fast….please kindly repeat after me.

            ALL HAIL BIAFRA !!

        • Julius

          Yea, while u sacrificing the young blood for your scams, collecting money and selling fake passports. Go on Tawanda !!

        • aisha ani

          I seriously doubt that Nnamdi’s wife and kids agree with you.


            Go and read up the Mrs Kanu’s opinions on youtube. Igbo blood flows in her veins, she is no coward.

  • Gabriel Olasebikan

    They have gotten the FG.

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  • favourtalk

    Whatever they say, the trial must continue, you can’t take up arm against the nation and expect them to smile back at you. You must face the law

    • eze

      come again.take arm by establishing a radio station

    • Prince Cj Benjamin

      What do you mean by take up arms? Hei You are uninformed

    • sab

      Did he really take up arms? Is someone telling truth here? Boko Haram are killing people, destroying and burning down buildings yet arrested ones are being pardoned and re-admitted into the army. Yet someone agitating for freedom is being locked up, slamming treason charges on him. Between BH and IPOB who is supposed to be committing treason?

  • Prince Cj Benjamin

    All judges will be rejected until there is no judge left to try the case in the Zoo. The ideal thing for Buhari is to come and preside over the case himself with the Sultan of Sokoto as the prosecutor. This case is unwinnable by every stretch of the imagination but then again black people cannot reason very well so anything is possible

    • Julius

      That shows the level of your stupidity and low mentality. Dont you think they might be giving him what he wanted but keep his dumb ass in prison ?. lolz, na wa ooo.


        For every night Nnamdi stays in prison the struggle will keep gaining momentum, Nnamdi knows that the struggle is more important than him and he is a real leader, he is not Yoruba like you

        • Julius

          Yea, why you continue hiding under your bed !!

          • YOMBO

            Hahahahahahaha…..lazy Tawanda Incommunicado!

          • Julius

            Yea, the true and brave internet warrior !!. lolz. No mind him.

  • JasV

    When a chicken lands on a rope both rope and the chicken never rest.

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  • george

    The right for self determination is the citizens right. Therefore judges are founding it difficult upon a reason to convict Kalu. Nnamdi. That just the simple truth.

    • Julius

      If you have any sense at all you will know that Kanu is just delaying his conviction. Let them keep granting him his wish and remain in prison. Na him toro !

  • Nazerine

    When some people said Buhari will destroy this country others called them wailers. Finally Buhari plunged Nigeria into recession. The next destruction Buhari will inflict on Nigeria is through Nnamdi Kanu.

    • Julius

      Unless he tells the judge to release your dearest leader..abi. Lmaooo !!

    • dele20

      Are those people saying trash against PMB not wailers? They are, PMB is not the one who plunged Nigeria into economic recession, stop commenting trash