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Mazi Nnamdi Kanu
Self-proclaimed Indigenous People of Biafran (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, could not be produced in court by the Nigerian government on Monday despite an order of the Federal High Court.
Mohammed Abubakar, a new counsel to the Federal Government, had the court’s amazement, announced that Kanu had not been brought before the court, merely announcing that the accused could not be brought in court due to logistics reasons.
His explanation sparked off hot arguments from the counsel to Kanu, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor who accused the Department of the State Security Service (DCC) of frustrating efforts by lawyers and family members to access the detained Biafra secessionist leader.
Ejiofor made frantic efforts to move an application for the transfer of his client to prison as a better option to DSS custody but was unsuccessful as the trial Judge, Justice Binta Nyako stood her grounds not to proceed until Kanu was physically present in court as required by the law.
Beyond Kanu’s absence in court, Justice Nyako drew the attention of the Federal Government lawyer and that of Kanu to the fact that the yearly vacation of the court had commenced, telling both parties that the fiat of the Chief Judge of the federal high court, Justice John Tsoho was required for the trial to go ahead during vacation.
Justice Nyako also stated that it was the duty of the prosecution to apply for the fiat if they wanted the trial during vacation and not the duty of her court.
Although the Judge expressed reservation on the failure to bring Kanu to court, the matter was eventually fixed for October 21, just as she gave a caveat that the court would reconvene in an earlier date if the Chief Judge granted fiat for trial to proceed.
Justice Nyako also directed that henceforth, five lawyers would be allowed into the courtroom to stand for Kanu as part of COVID-19 pandemic protocols.