The Federal Government has amended charges proffered against Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)
Recall at the last adjourned date, the judge squashed 8 out of the 15 count terrorism charges proffered against Mr Kanu.
However, at the resumed trial, two of Kanu’s lawyers, Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Maxwell Opara, have been listed as accomplices. They are accused of allegedly aiding Mr Kanu to jump bail and fleeing the country in 2017.
What happened in court
At the resumed hearing, the Federal Government had filed an amended six-count charge against Mr Kanu.
Objecting to the amended charges, Kanu’s lawyer, Mr Ozekhome said his client is yet to see the charges and he was just served on Tuesday.
- “We were only served with two heft volumes of the amended charge just yesterday (Tuesday). My client has not even seen the charges, yet the prosecution wants him to take his plea?” Mr Ozekhome said.
- Responding to him, Justice Nyako said “I am seeing my own amended charge this morning. I did not know that there is an amended charge.”
- However, the prosecution counsel prayed the court to continue with the trial but Justice Nyako responded saying “You will not foist the amended charges on us like that,”
- Subsequently, the prosecution counsel withdrew the new charges that he had filed. He said, “I am withdrawing the amended charge to allow today’s proceedings to go on.”
- Justice Nyako consequently, struck out the new amended charges.
- Continuing with the trial, Mr Ozekhome told the court that visiting Mr Kanu at the detention facility of the DSS was difficult owing to the various security checks at the facility.
- He said, “Hidden cameras in their (SSS) office record our conversations with the defendant whenever we visited him, but the service does not allow us in with even a pen or paper to confer with our client in preparation for his defence.”
- Speaking to the DSS Director of Legal Department, the judge directed them to obey the court’s order mandating them to grant Kanu’s Family members and lawyers access to him.
- She reminded him that the DSS is not above the law and the court will be forced to hold him in contempt if he doesn’t obey court orders.
- “If you do not do the needful, we will descend on you, because you are not above the law,” Mrs Nyako said.
- She told him to facilitate Kanu’s lawyers’ consultation with him. She then adjourned the matter for May 26.