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IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, 3 others denied bail

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The Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu on Thursday appeared before the Federal High Court, Abuja in continuation of his trial. He was however denied bail.

Kanu is being tried along three others on allegations of bordering on treasonable felony.

The three accomplices are Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.

They were again denied bail by trial Justice Binta Nyako.

Army members of Department of State Service, DSS, took the defendants away from the court premises after the case was adjoured till Dec. 13 for accelerated hearing.

Justice Binta refused to grant bail to any of the defendants pending the determination of the 11-count criminal charge the Federal Government preferred against them.

Charges against the accused persons border on reasonable felony and their alleged involvement in acts of terrorism.

The defendants had in the course of the proceeding, alleged plot by the Federal Government to import foreigners to testify against him.

The defendants contended that charges against them were not only bailable offences, but also not felony punishable with death.

The defendants expressed their readiness to produce reasonable sureties before the court.

However, the prosecution opposed the release of any of the defendants on bail.

The prosecutor, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, told the court that the defendants would constitute “a threat to national security”, once freed from prison custody.

Labaran, who further applied to the court for protection of witnesses billed to testify against the defendants, drew attention of the court to the fact that the 1st defendant, Kanu, has dual citizenship.

He argued that Kanu, who he said has both Nigerian and British passports, would escape out of the country if released on bail.

While praying the court to allow the defendants to attend their trial from Kuje prison, he, stressed that Onwudiwe was a major threat, saying he was the only one facing a particular count of “preparatory to commit an act of terrorism”.

Meanwhile, in her ruling, Justice Nyako, held that charge against the defendants “are very serious in nature”, and therefore not ordinarily bailable.

“Irrespective of what the charge is, the court has to exercise its discretion on way or the other”.

Justice Nyako added that some of the charges against the defendants could attract life imprisonment if proved.

The court also dismissed contention by the defendants that President Muhammadu Buhari had openly directed that they should not be released on bail.

The Judge held that President Buhari, being a citizen of Nigeria, was at liberty to exercise his freedom of speech.

“The offences are serious in nature and carries very severe punishment if proven.

“I hereby therefore refuse bail of the applicants.

But in the alternative, I hereby order accelerated trial of this matter to almost commence immediately, but not later than two months.

Justice Nyako fixed December 13 to rule on prosecution’s application.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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