Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was denied bail by a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday after prosecutors withdrew new revised allegations against him.
The Federal Government had classified some of Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyers, including Misters Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Maxwell Opara, as accomplices of the defendant in the new accusations.
After Nnamdi Kanu skipped bail and fled the country, the lawyers were accused of being in frequent communication with him.
The prosecution was chastised by Presiding Justice Binta Nyako for bringing amended charges just hours before the ruling. She stated she didn’t know about the new charges until she arrived at court on Wednesday morning.
The prosecution, she claims, cannot present the new modified charges to the court on the morning of the hearing.
Kanu’s attorneys filed a bail application, which was declined by Justice Nyako on the grounds that his previous absences, dating back to 2017, should be investigated before a release application could be considered.
The allegations brought against Nnamdi Kanu were dismissed by Justice Nyako.
The court noted that Kanu’s trial has been delayed numerous times since 2015 due to over 19 interlocutory applications filed in the case.
Mike Ozekhome, the 54-year-lawyer, old’s accused the prosecution of attempting to stall proceedings by continually amending the accusation against his client.
Ozekhome also informed the court that the Federal government is altering its accusation for the seventh time.
Justice Nyako concurred with Ozekhome’s assertion that Kanu is unlikely to enter a plea on the newly modified charges right away because he needs time to comprehend them.
As a result, it pleaded with the parties to allow the case to go to trial so that the charge could be determined.
Kanu had asked the court to release him on bail until the outcome of the accusations against him in an application filed under sections 6(6) and 36(5) and (6) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as sections 161, 162, 163 and 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.
Nigeria’s Department of State Services first charged Kanu in an Abuja Magistrate Court in 2015 over “criminal conspiracy, intimidation, and membership of an illegal organization” (DSS).
The allegations were in violation of Nigerian penal code sections 97, 97B, and 397. Chief Magistrate S. Usman chastised the Department of State Services (DSS) for failing to bring Kanu in court on both occasions when the case was heard.
Kanu’s supporters swarmed Abuja in luxury buses following his arraignment in a peaceful demonstration against the move.