Court Refuses Nnamdi Kanu’s Bail Application

By Adadareporters

An Abuja Federal High Court on Tuesday refused to grant a fresh bail application filed by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Kanu is being detained at the custody of the Department of State Services over alleged treason, jumping bail and running a proscribed organization.

The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, in a ruling, held that she cannot reverse herself, having earlier rejected the IPOB leader’s bail application. She said the only option available to Kanu was to lodge an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Mrs Nyako, who delivered her ruling shortly after hearing arguments and counter-arguments from opposing lawyers on Tuesday, also rejected Mr Kanu’s preliminary objection, seeking an order for some conditions to be met by the State Security Service (SSS) before his trial could proceed.

She ruled that the court cannot dictate to the security agency on how best to perform its duty in accordance with international best practice. She said the much the court could do was to accelerate the hearing of his case. She therefore issued an order of accelerated hearing in the case.

Mr Kanu filed the applications at the court following the Supreme Court’s 15 December 2023 judgement ordering him to go back to face his trial, which has been going on intermittently since 2015 when it was instituted.

Mrs Nyako said: “This is exactly the way this case has been going since 2015. I am talking to both sides. You always find a way to truncate the proceedings.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs Nyako had, on 26 February, fixed Tuesday for ruling on the bail application and a preliminary objection raised by Kanu.

Mr Kanu’s lawyer, Mr Alloy Ejimakor, had in the preliminary objection, prayed the court not to allow Mr Kanu’s trial until certain conditions were met by the federal government.

He had alleged that the SSS personnel usually seized documents of Kanu’s lawyers, stopping his lawyers from taking notes during visitation, and eavesdropping on Kanu’s consultation with lawyers on matters pertaining to his defence, among others.

In its opposition to the bail application, the prosecuting lawyer, Adegboyega Awolowo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the IPOB leader would jump bail. He said the court had revoked Mr Kanu’s bail after he fled the country in 2017.

In April 2017, the court granted Mr Kanu bail, but he jumped bail after soldiers invaded his ancestral home in Abia State.

The prosecution lawyer said the SSS had been diligent in its duty of care to Mr Kanu in detention. Mr Awomolo said the SSS had adequate healthcare services for the defendant, urging the court to reject the bail request.

Mr Ejimakor, in a reaction, said his client required adequate time and resources to prepare for trial. He accused the SSS of denying the IPOB leader the right to have private conversations with his lawyers in preparation for the case.

Also, he raised concerns about Mr Kanu’s “deteriorating health conditions” at the SSS detention facility in Abuja.

“The medical condition of the defendant (Mr Kanu) speaks for itself and the health challenge persists, despite the treatment offered him by the detaining authority,” Mr Ejimakor told journalists shortly after the ruling.

Mr Kanu has been in the SSS custody since June 2021 when he was forcibly returned to Nigeria from Kenya..

Adadainfo is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: Phone: 08071790941

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