Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, declined to appear before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for his planned re-arraignment, the federal government claimed on Monday.
Kanu was absent when the federal government brought a suit on the amended seven-count charge against him in court today.
He is detained at the custody of the
Department of State Service. He faces amended seven-count terrorism charge.
The director of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, Mr M.B. Abubakar, led government prosecutors to the court.
Abubakar told Justice Nyako that Kanu declined to be brought before the court for trial.
He told the court that, “My Lord, I understand that the defendant declined to come to court today.
“As at last week, the defendant was intimated of this sitting and he did not object. However, when I called the office this morning, I was informed that the defendant woke up and declined to come to court.
“All entreaties and pleas were made but he refused to come to court.”
Kanu’s lead counsel Mike Ozekhome, SAN, told the court that, “My Lord, this is totally strange to me because this is a person that has never hidden his intention to always be in court.
“In fact, even in processes we filed at both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, the defendant said he would want to be present in court for hearing of all the matters.”
Ozekhome informed the trial judge about the Court of Appeal judgement which quashed and discharged the 15-count charge preferred against his client by the FG.
He averred that since the FG had appealed to the Supreme Court to set aside the judgement and his client also challenging the order that stayed the execution of the verdict, it was better for the matter to be adjourned sine die. He also informed the court that Kanu was not served with the amended charge.