Posted by News Express | 29 April 2016 | 2,831 times
The Nigerian Government has no witnesses to bring against pro-Biafra henchman Nnamdi Kanu, his lawyer has said.
Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of Radio Biafra, is facing six counts of treasonable felony that carries a maximum life sentence in Nigeria but denies the charges. He was arrested in Lagos in October 2015 and has been held in detention since then.
One of Kanu’s lawyers, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said: “The point is that they have nobody to come and testify against our client. That’s the simple truth.”
Ejiofor, according to a Newsweek report, said this was the real reason behind government’s desperation to have witnesses against his client to testify in secret in court.
The Federal High Court in the Nigerian capital Abuja ruled on March 7 that witnesses in the celebrated case should be allowed to testify from behind a screen in order to protect their identities. The decision came despite a previous ruling by Judge John Tsoho on February 19 that witnesses could not wear masks while testifying.
The trial has been adjourned until June 20 and Kanu is due to appear in court for a bail hearing on May 5.
Ejiofor told Newsweek that allowing witnesses to testify anonymously could allow the prosecution to unfairly prejudice the trial. “If you give them that, they will bring anybody they want,” he said, adding: “You cannot accuse somebody in public and try him in secret...They (the witnesses) have to come to the public and testify in public. Let us see them in open court.”
Ejiofor, according to Newsweek, disclosed that the defence team will now escalate their application for a stay in proceedings to the Court of Appeal and would also ask for the case to be transferred to another judge as they had lost confidence in Tsoho.
•Photo shows Nnamdi Kanu discussing with one of his lawyers during a court appearance.
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