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Biafra: Kanu trial begins on dramatic note

Published on February 9, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu: Startling court filings by DSS

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu: Startling court filings by DSS

Trial of leader of Indigenious People of Biafra, IPOB, and two others charged with treasonable felony by the Federal Government began on a dramatic note and amidst tight security at Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday morning.

Kanu, on arrival at the court from Kuje prison where he was ordered to be remanded by the court, had refused to come down from the prison vehicle or allow the warders take off the handcuffs he was brought to court in.

The IPOB leader had insisted that he will go inside the courtroom with the handcuffs in his hand.

But his lawyer’s intervention resolved the dispute that may have led to the delay in the commencement of the trial.

Justice James Tshoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja division had on Friday, 29 January, denied Kanu and his two co-accused bail.

He ordered them to be remanded in prison custody pending the outcome of his trial.

The judge had based the denial of bail on the fact that the offences the IPOB leader were charged with border on national security.

He also said Kanu’s possession of dual citizenship enhances his possibility of escaping from Nigeria if granted bail, as argued by the prosecution counsel.

The judge ordered an accelerated hearing of his case as he adjourned trial till February 9, 10, 11 and 12.

Kanu, who is also a director of Radio Biafra was arrested by operatives of Department of State Service (DSS), on October 2015 in a hotel in Lagos.

He was arraigned on charges of treason and other offences bordering on his agitation for the secession of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria on 20 January alongside Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.

The charges against them include “That you, Nnamdi Kanu and other unknown persons, now at large, at London, United Kingdom, between 2014 and September, 2015 with intention to levy war against Nigeria in order to force the President to change his measures of being the President of the Federation, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation as defined in Section 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) by doing an act to wit: Broadcast on Radio Biafra your preparations for the states in the South- East geo-political zone, South-South geo-political zone, the Igala Community of Kogi State and the Idoma/Igede Community of Benue State to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and form themselves into a Republic of Biafra, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“That you, Nnamdi Kanu and others, now at large, between 2012 and September, 2015 at South-East geo-political zone and the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court manage an unlawful society with more than 10 members to wit: unregistered with the Corporate Affairs Commission or any other registration authority to wit: The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) thereby committed an offence which is punishable under Section 63 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

“That you, Nnamdi Kanu between the months of March and April, 2015 imported into Nigeria and kept in Ubulusiuzor town in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, a radio transmitter known as TRAM 5OL concealed in a container which you described as containing household items, which you so declared and that, you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 47(2) (a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act.”

The counts four and five accused the trio of being involved in the management of unlawful society and unlawful possession of firearms.

“That you Benjamin Madubugwu in the month of April, 2015 at Ubulusiuzor town, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court assisted in the management of an unlawful society known as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by doing an act to wit, accepted and kept in your residence a container housing a radio transmitter known as TRAM 50L, with knowledge that the said transmitter belongs to an unlawful society (known as IPOB) and that you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 63 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004,” the sixth count read.

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