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“You are the terrorist” – Angry Nnamdi Kanu tells lawyer

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Nnamdi KanuNnamdi Kanu, the leader of the secessionist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), lashed out as he stood up to address the court.

Kanu began his outburst by speaking directly to the judge, accusing government lawyer Awomolo of violating the provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act.

“You are a terrorist. You have no power to try me. The law states in section 23f of the Terrorism Prevention Act that anyone who tries someone against the provisions of the law or against any treaty Nigeria is a signatory to, that person is a terrorist.”

“So you are a terrorist. I have been in detention now for three years, for what?” Kanu told Awomolo.

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This came after Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja rejected the application to transfer Nnamdi Kanu to house arrest.

Justice Nyako stated that she had ruled on the same application several times and would not change her ruling – the ruling being that DSS custody remains the safest place for the accused person.

“Any attempt to file this application again, I will consider it an abuse of court process. The only option open to the defense is to take the matter on appeal,” Nyako said.

Additionally, on the issue of whether Kanu jumped bail, Nyako said she had already ruled that Kanu jumped bail.

The court had ordered that Nnamdi Kanu’s sureties would forfeit the bail bond they had agreed to.

“The only reason they haven’t forfeited the bail bond is because they appealed the decision. So bringing this application before me again is unnecessary.

‘If it happens again, I will regard it as an abuse of court process.” she said.

However, Justice Nyako ordered that Kanu’s lawyers could visit their client in DSS custody three times a week instead of twice.

She also ordered the DSS to provide Kanu with a “clean room” where he and his lawyers could hold consultations without any monitoring or recording.

After the ruling, counsel to the federal government, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), told the court they were ready to call their first witness, but Aloy Ejimakor, counsel to Kanu, asked the court to grant an adjournment so they could take advantage of this latest ruling to prepare their client for trial.

Ejimakor tried to insist that the conditions of detention were very oppressive for Kanu, but Justice Nyako told him to go on appeal.

Nnamdi Kanu and FG matter in court resumed Monday, 20th May, 2024

The matter between Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the secessionist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and the federal government continued on Monday at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The case, which started around 12:00 PM (Nigerian time), was before Justice Binta Nyako, who has been in charge of the matter since the government first arraigned Kanu in 2015.

nnamdi kanu
Nnamdi Kanu pictured with his legal team in court

Nnamdi Kanu faces an eight-count charge related to terrorism and belonging to a proscribed organization due to his fight for the southeastern part of Nigeria to secede and become their own country, which he wants to be called Biafra.

It is important to note that since the Nigerian government rearrested Kanu in Kenya in June 2021, his trial has not actually resumed due to the many complaints his lawyers have made against the Department of State Services (DSS) where Kanu is currently detained.

Aloy Ejimakor, who usually speaks on behalf of Kanu, alleges that his client is not ready for trial because the DSS does not allow him and his other lawyers to have “unhindered access”.

During the last hearing day in April, Ejimakor told Justice Binta Nyako that their visits to Kanu in DSS custody were limited to just 30 minutes per counsel. Additionally, the DSS did not allow two lawyers to see him at the same time, they were not permitted to bring in any writing materials to take notes, and their conversations were constantly monitored.

“We apply for our client to be transferred to home detention or house arrest,” Ejimakor pleaded with the court that day.

The defense counsel made this plea after Justice Nyako had repeatedly refused to transfer Kanu from DSS custody to Kuje correctional facility, citing her lack of confidence in the security of the facility.

It was expected that Justice Nyako would rule on the application for Kanu’s transfer to house arrest.

Moreover, the federal government was expected to call their first witness, which would signify the actual commencement of the trial.

Justice Nyako had also warned that if Nnamdi Kanu and his team were not ready for trial, she would have no other choice but to adjourn the case “sine die,” meaning indefinitely, until they were prepared.

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