The trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on charges of treasonable felony, will resume today, Monday, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, four years after it was stalled due to his disappearance from the country.
The separatist, who was granted bail in April 2017, fled the country after the invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, by the military in September.
The judge, Binta Nyako, subsequently revoked his bail for ditching his trial.
Mrs Nyako also ordered his trial to be separated from the rest of the co-defensants’.
While the trial of the rest of the defendants has made some progress, Mr Kanu’s has been stalled since 2017.
On June 29, 2021, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, announced that Mr Kanu had been rearrested and brought back to Nigeria to continue facing his trial.
He said the IPOB leader was “intercepted” days earlier but did not disclose which country and how the operation was carried out.
Although there has been no official disclosure about where and how Mr Kanu was arrested, relatives and lawyers of the IPOB leader, have described how he was taken into custody in Kenya under controversial circumstances.
On the day the AGF announced his arrest, Mr Kanu was produced in court.
The judge, during the proceedings, ordered his remand in the custody of the State Security Service (SSS).
She then adjourned he trial till today, July 26.
PREMIUM TIMES will be providing live updates of the proceedings.
Officially scheduled to commence 9 a.m., the proceedings may take longer to begin.
Already, an army of security operatives have taken over the court premises.
Heavily armed and hooded SSS operatives and the Nigeria Police Force have cordoned off adjoining streets to the court.
The fierce-looking operatives turned commuters and passersby away from the streets adjoining the court.
A crowd of stranded journalists was seen milling around barricaded lines around the court.
9.43a.m.: Mr Kanu has not been seen in the courtroom. The judge, Mrs Nyako, too, has yet to arrive.
Members of the government’s prosecution team, defence lawyers, and some of his supporters and Igbo leaders are already seated in court.
10.54a.m: While the judge and Mr Kanu are being expected, we understand that the defence team already filed an application for an order transferring the IPOB leader from SSS custody to the Nigerian correctional centre.
We also understand that the government has filed an objection to the application.
It is not yet clear if the application will be heard today.
11.10a.m.: The trial judge, Binta Nyako, enters the courtroom, but Mr Kanu is not yet in sight.
11.48a.m.: Court adjourns trial till October 21, cites Mr Kanu’s absence. The judge also said the court’s vacation started on Monday.
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