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Alleged Treasonable Felony: Court To Decide IPOB Leader Kanu’s Fresh Bail Bid March 19

Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, adjourned till March 19, to decide whether the court would grant bail to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The IPOB leader has been in custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) since 2021, when he was extradited back to Nigeria from Kenya, to continue his alleged treasonable felony trial.

Justice Nyako, beside stating that her ruling in the bail application would be delivered on the above date, held that trial would also continue the following day, March 20.

The court fixed the date after lawyers representing parties in the suit argued for and against the grant of the bail.

At the resumed trial, counsel to the federal government, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, informed the judge of the Supreme Court’s judgment, which affirmed her decision of April 8, 2022, which ordered that Kanu be tried on counts 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 15 of the terrorism-related charges of which the defendant had pleaded not guilty.

Awomolo added that with the permission of the court, the prosecution was prepared to proceed with the trial and see to its logical conclusion in the interest of the nation.

However, Kanu’s lawyer, Mr Alloy Ejimako, drew the court’s attention to the bail application of his client as well as notice of preliminary objection.

He claimed Kanu had a serious heart condition as confirmed by a federal government-owned hospital, and as such the court should admit him to bail on the most legal terms possible, to enable him get medical attention.

“Our humble submission is that the medical condition of the defendant speaks for itself and the health challenge persist despite the treatment offered him by the detaining authority,” Ejimako said.

He explained that Kanu’s continual detention at the DSS facility threatened his life.

The lawyer claimed that the delay in trying his client was caused by the federal government, which amended the charge against Kanu three times since he was extradited in 2021.

On the court’s observation that Kanu once jumped bail, Ejimako said developments that happened in the past have now become academic in view of the findings of judgments from other courts even outside Abuja.

Opposing the grant of the application, the federal government urged the court to, in the alternative, order accelerated hearing of the case, in line with Section 161 of the 1999 Constitution.

Awomolo further argued that the applicant must prove that there was no good medical facility to attend to his medical needs at the DSS.

The prosecution further submitted that the defendant did not present anything tangible to show that he was entitled to bail under the law.

“There is no evidence before the court that Kanu would not jump bail again,” Awomolo said, adding the court should refuse the application for bail.

Alex Enumah 

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