There was a light unexpected drama at the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday morning, February 9th, as Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and Director of Radio Biafra, whose trial was slated to continue on the said date, bluntly refused to come down from the prison van which conveyed him to the venue of the trial.
As a result, the prison officials had no choice but to call his lead lawyer, Chuks Mouma (SAN), who it took a great deal of persuasion to convince Kanu to alight from the vehicle.
Mouma however, was unable to get Kanu to succumb to the pressure of removing the handcuffs which he wore even as he was led to the courtroom. This is an uncommon sight as it is customary for officials of the prison service to always remove handcuffs from accused persons before they are allowed entry into the courtrooms.
However, upon entering the court, he eventually took off the handcuffs after making another scene.
Meanwhile, Justice John Tsoho who was supposed to listen to the testimonies of witnesses to be brought by the federal government before the court to bear witness against Nnamdi Kanu, stood down the matter till 12pm saying, “I am sorry the case has been stood down for other matters to be attended.”
Kanu’s lawyer had in an application registered his objection to an application for a secret trial of his client and also pleaded with the court to release some documents belonging to his client, these includes his Nigerian and British passports as well as some money, things taken from him on the day of his arrest. But unfortunately, the court refused to honor the application for the release of the documents.
The judge further stated that it is a mere conjecture for the defense, Chuks Muoma to make a submission that evidences which were not listed on the charge can be returned to the accused person as they will not be used by the court, adding that an application of such nature can be made after the case has been ended by the prosecution thereby giving room for the defense to open their case.
In his ruling, Tsoho said the application lacked merit.
Nnamdi Kanu was once again denied bail on the grounds that he would abscond trial being in possession of a British passport and that the claims against him are too strong, a threat to the security of the entire nation. Additionally, Judge Tsoho said that the rights of a single individual are not more important than the the peace and security of the nation.
The presiding judge noted that while refusing to grant the Biafra leader bail, that Kanu and his cohorts had shown no deep regret or guilt for the actions which landed them in detention but had instead concentrated their defense on justifying their actions.
The case was adjourned to to Friday, February 19 for hearing on the application on secret trial.
Nnamdi Kanu has been detained in official custody since he was arrested by security operatives upon his arrival to Nigeria from his base in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2015.