Posted by News Express | 19 October 2021 | 4,440 times
The Federal Government has filed an amended seven-count charge against the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The amended charge, which was filed by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Monday, borders on treasonable felony and alleged involvement of Kanu in acts of terrorism.
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Anambra North senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Ifeanyi Uba, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
In the motion of notice dated October 15, the lawmaker is seeking an order to be allowed to visit Kanu who is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
He prayed for an order granting him leave to visit the detained IPOB leader, as part of his legislative oversight function and to ascertain his alleged involvement in the unrest in the South East as being alleged.
In an affidavit personally deposed to by Senator Uba, the lawmaker stated that there has been serious agitation aimed at pressing home his release and this has degenerated into a proclamation of sit-at-home orders in the region, a situation which he said was crippling the economy of the South East.
At the DSS detention facility, he was refused access to the defendant and directed to approach the court to obtain permission before he could be allowed to see Kanu.
Kanu was first arrested in 2015 on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, and improper importation of goods, among others.
He was initially detained and arraigned in court, but he fled the country in 2017 after he was granted bail for medical reasons.
The embattled IPOB leader was later sighted in Israel, but he was intercepted on June 27 and repatriated to Nigeria to face the charges for which he was arrested – about four years since he jumped bail.
His repatriation followed an operation conducted by Nigerian security operatives in collaboration with international partners.
On July 26, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja adjourned the trial of Kanu until October 21 after the DSS failed to produce him in court.
She faulted the action of the security outfit and asked the prosecution to be diligent with dates whenever she gives one, stressing that it was important for Kanu to be present at his trial.
The judge had also made an order for regimented access to the defendant but declined the proposal of Kanu’s counsel that he should be transferred to a correctional centre.
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