Nnamdi Kanu absent in court as FG levels fresh terrorism charge against him

The detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, was absent at the Federal High Court in Abuja for his planned re-arraignment as the Federal Government levelled fresh terrorism charges against him.

Kanu, who is currently in the custody of the Department of State Service, DSS, is facing an amended 7-count terrorism charge.

A team of government prosecutors led by the Director of Public Prosecution, M.B. Abubakar, told trial Justice Binta Nyako that the IPOB leader, declined to be brought before the court for trial.

Justice Nyako had after the case was calls up, enquired about the defendant.

“My lord, I understand that the defendant declined to come to court today.

“As at last week, the defendant was intimated of this sitting and he did not object. However, when I called the office this morning, I was informed that the defendant woke up and declined to come to court.

“All entreaties and pleas were made but he refused to come to court”, government lawyer told the court.

However, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who is leading Kanu’s defence team, told the court that FG’s allegation was strange to him.

“My lord, this is totally strange to me because this is a person that has never hidden his intention to always be in court. In fact, even in processes we filed at both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, the defendant said he would want to be present in court for hearing of all the matters”, Ozekhome, SAN, added.

He further notified the trial judge about the judgement of the Court of Appeal that quashed the 15-count charge FG preferred against his client and discharged him of all the allegations.

Ozekhome contended that since FG has gone to the Supreme Court to set aside the judgement and his client also challenging the order that stayed the execution of the verdict, it was better for the matter to be adjourned sine-die (indefinitely).

Besides, he told the court that his client was not served with the amended charge.

“We have not even been served with this charge, we only read about it on the social media. It was this morning that we discovered that it has been listed on the cause list and I thought that my learned friend will stand up and say that in view of the subsisting Appeal Court judgement, that he is withdrawing it.

“We are surprised because this is an abuse of court process”, Ozekhome stated.

On his part, Director of Public Prosecution, Abubakar, said he was not opposed to an adjournment to enable the Supreme Court to determine the appeals pending before it. Consequently, trial Justice Nyako adjourned the case indefinitely.

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