Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday struck out a six-count amended charge brought against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
The judge threw away the fresh charges following its withdrawal by counsel to the Federal Government, Adamu Kaatu.
Citing the need for the government to open the trial of Kanu after years of delay, Kaatu opted to withdraw the new charges when it was discovered the trial cannot be opened when an amended charge is pending.
Apparently desperate that witnesses be called to give evidence against Kanu, the government lawyer hurriedly applied for the withdrawal which was not opposed by Mike Ozekhome (SAN) standing for the defendant.
Justice Nyako, in a brief ruling, struck out the amended charge to pave way for the Federal Government to open its case against Kanu.
It had earlier been reported that the government, a few hours to the hearing of Kanu’s bail application, amended the treasonable felony charges against the IPOB leader.
This had been made known by Aloy Ejimakor, Kanu’s Special Counsel, in an interview, saying the seven-count charge was amended.
“The Federal Government just amended the charges against Nnamdi Kanu now, they removed one; you know it was seven, but they removed one, and now it’s six. We are in court waiting for the judge’s arrival, and Kanu himself is yet to arrive,” Ejimakor had said.
But, in a recent development, the government had now withdrawn the six-count charge and had continued with the initial seven-count charge filed against the defendant.
The IPOB leader is facing charges of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism, and illegal possession of firearms, among others.