A FEDERAL High Court in Abuja has dismissed a new bail application filed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Kanu, currently facing a seven-count charge, had in the application he filed through his team of lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome (SAN) also challenged the revocation of the bail earlier granted him by the court.
He asked the court to set aside the order it made on March 28, 2019, which issued a bench warrant for his arrest and gave the Federal Government the nod to try him in absentia.
The IPOB leader told the court that contrary to the Federal Government’s allegation that he jumped bail, he fled for his life after his home in Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State, was invaded by soldiers, during which, according to him, 28 persons were killed.
While contending that he was denied a fair hearing before his bail was revoked, Kanu attached eight exhibits that included photographs and an affidavit he deposed from Israel after he fled the country.
Kanu filed the application pending the determination of the treasonable felony charges filed against him by the Federal Government.
However, in her ruling on Tuesday, Justice Binta Nyako, the trial judge, described the fresh bail application as an abuse of the court process, noting that it had been previously denied.
Kanu was re-arraigned on an amended 15-count charge bordering on treasonable felony.
However, on April 8, the judge struck out eight of the 15 charges.
While counts 6,7,9,10,11,12,13 and 14 were struck out, the defendant is to stand trial on counts 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 15.
The court had, on May 18, refused to grant Kanu bail, stating that the application was premature.
Instead, Nyako had asked the defendant to address the court on why he jumped bail over four years ago.
The judge held that she was not satisfied with the reasons averred by the defendant.
She said the records of the court show that Kanu was represented by his lawyer and sureties on the day his bail was revoked.
“In fact, he sureties told the court that they did not know the whereabouts of the defendant and even applied to be discharged from the matter.
“Therefore, the defendant was not denied a fair hearing,” the judge said.
Justice Nyako added that though the court has powers to vacate its previous order when confronted with a compelling and verifiable reason, “in the instant case, I have not been given any, neither have I been given any reason to set aside the order”.
“The present application amounts to an abuse of court process for attempting to relitigate an issue already decided by the court. If the defendant is dissatisfied, he has the appeal court to go to.
“This application is accordingly dismissed.
“However, the defendant is at liberty to re-file the application”, Justice Nyako added.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned till November 14 for mention to await the outcome of Kanu’s appeal.