Court Grants Request To Hide Identity of Witnesses In Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial

Nnamdi Kanu
Nnamdi Kanu

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has approved Federal Government’s application to hide the identities of prosecution witnesses in the trial of  Pro-Biafran leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Justice Binta Nyako  on Tuesday held that the application by the counsel to the federal government, Mohammed Labaran, was meritorious

She said the request to shield the names and addresses of the prosecution witnesses who were largely security operatives was not a bad idea, adding that the law supported it.

She said, “It is therefore the court’s order that the names and addresses of the prosecution witnesses shall only remain with the court.

“The prosecution witnesses who should appear in combination of alphabets will be given screens, which will be provided by the court.

“The defendants and their counsel will however be able to see the witnesses before they testify.”

However, the judge cautioned the public not to misunderstand the stance of the court “as a grant for a secret trial”, noting that “The court shall be open for public, including accredited journalists and families of the defendants.”

The judge subsequently adjourned the trial until Jan. 10, 2017.






     

     

    The federal government had applied for all the witnesses to be allowed to testify behind screen and also requested that the identities of the witnesses should not to be revealed in any record of the proceedings.

    But the defendants had vehemently opposed the application, arguing that granting such request would amount to gross violation of their rights to fair hearing.

    The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra is being tried along Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi who were alleged to have conspired to broadcast on alleged pirate Radio Biafra which advocated for the independent state of Biafra.

    They were alleged to have committed treasonable felony, an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, among others.

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