The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, bail, the News Agency of Nigeria is reporting.
Ruling on his bail application, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, said Mr. Kanu, who is the director of pirate station, Radio Biafra, should be released unconditionally while the case against him continues.
Details of the court proceedings will come in later updates.
Mr. Kanu’s release by the federal court came a day after a Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja struck out all suits filed against him.
Magistrate Shuaibu Usman struck out all criminal charges levelled against Mr. Kanu after counsel to the State Security Services, Moses Idakwo, filed for discontinuation of the matter on the instruction of his client.
Mr. Usman said since the SSS, through its lawyer, had filed for a discontinuation of the case, he had no option than to discharge the accused.
Mr. Kanu, who was arrested by the State Security Service as he returned to Nigeria, has been in detention since October.
Calls for his release led to demonstrations in several south east states.
On Monday, the counsel to the SSS, Moses Idakwo, had asked that the court to disregard the bail application by Mr. Kanu’s counsel, Vincent Obeta.
Mr. Idakwo argued that Mr. Kanu should not be granted bail as the charge against him was terrorism-related.
He said the SSS had evidence of bank accounts owned by Mr. Kanu, where monies (in dollars and pound sterling) were used for financing terrorism against Nigeria.
Mr. Idakwo also told the court that Mr. Kanu had dual citizenship of Britain and Nigeria and therefore could flee justice, if granted bail.
But Mr. Kanu’s counsel, Mr. Obeta, dismissed the arguments of the SSS as speculative.
Mr. Obeta told the court that the SSS had on four occasions flouted an order of a magistrate court to release his client on bail.
He said the request by the SSS to further detain Mr. Kanu for another 90 days, according to section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, was a negation of his client’s right.