IPOB Leader, Kanu Alleges Persecution By FG

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The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has cried out over the way and manner his trial in the terrorism charges preferred against him by the federal government is being handled.
According to him, his case is turning from prosecution to persecution.
At a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the lead counsel to the IPOB leader, Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, said Kanu does not deserve the treatment he is currently receiving in the hands of the federal government, prosecuting him for terrorism related charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Ejimakor said Kanu is not allowed access to his counsel to prepare adequately for his defense in the charges standing against him at the court.
“Our worry is the way, we, as lawyers are being denied access to him while in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
“The DSS always restrain us, each time we make efforts to get statement from Kanu. The allegations against the IPOB leader are personal and he is the only person that can tell his lawyers what he did and what did not do and what lines of defense he can rely on”.
According to Ejimakor, the law provides that, an accused person is entitled to a lawyer of his choice and added that, “if we go there with documents for him to react to, those documents were photocopied, scanned by the DSS and in the long run, we may not get those documents back”.
He said Kanu suffered in the hands of criminal justice system of Nigeria for seven years, between 2015 and 2022, adding that the IPOB leader does not deserve such treatment.
He said, Kanu is entitled to fair hearing and urged President Bola Tinubu to look into the charges against Kanu to see whether there is merit, adding that, it is not an offence for somebody to say he doesn’t want to belong to a particular place.
Kanu, has gone to the Court of Appeal, Abuja seeking stay of proceedings in his trial at the Federal High Court until his fundamental right to fair hearing is guaranteed by the DSS
Kanu, in the appeal, which has the Federal Government as respondent, filed by his lead counsel, Barr Aloy Ejimakor, among others, is seeking to be transferred to Kuje prisons or any other guaranteed place aside the DSS custody where he would have unhindered access to his legal team ahead of his defence.
Kanu, among others, also wants the appellate Court to order the respondent to “stop the unconstitutional acts of forcibly seizing and photocopying confidential legal documents brought” to him by his lawyers meant for his defence of the charges against him.
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had on March 19, 2024, ruled against Kanu’s request to be moved to Kuje prison.
Ejimakor had prayed the court to grant Kanu’s request to enable him to have full access to his counsel preparatory to his defence.
The federal government’s lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) had, countered the request on the ground that Kanu would jump bail.
In the charge marked, FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, Kanu wants the trial court “to decline jurisdiction to proceed with the hearing of the case unless and until he is granted his right to fair hearing under Section 36(6)(6)(b) and (c) of the Constitution; or in the alternative, for the trial court to order an alternative custodial or non-custodial arrangement free from interference with his said constitutional right to fair hearing.”
Kanu is also asking the Appeal Court to “Set aside the order for accelerated hearing of the case in the circumstances of the case where he is not allowed facilities to prepare for the defence of the charges against him and denied his right to counsel.”
The grounds of the appeal, filed by Ejimakor, are anchored on claims that, “The learned trial court erred in law when the court assumed jurisdiction to proceed with the hearing of the criminal trial against the appellant when the appellant is glaringly denied the constitutional right to fair trial with particular reference to denial of adequate facilities to prepare for the defence of the criminal allegations against the appellant and his right to counsel of his own choice, thereby occasioning a grave miscarriage of justice.
Kanu, who is being tried over alleged jumping bail, treason and running a proscribed group was unlawfully renditioned from Kenya to Nigeria in 2021, and had since then been in the custody of the DSS in Abuja.




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