A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has, on Thursday, adjourned the trial of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu to November 10.
Kanu was presented before Justice Binta Nyako to answer a seven-count charge bordering on terrorism and treasonable felony. After the charges were read to him, Kanu pleaded not guilty.
Following his plea, Nyako adjourned the case to November 10. She also denied Kanu’s application for a transfer from State Security Service (SSS) custody to the Kuje Correctional facility in (FCT).
The SSS barred journalists from gaining access to the courtroom where Kanu’s case was being heard.
The ICIR had reported how Kanu’s trial was initially stalled due to the failure of the SSS to provide him in court.
Kanu was re-arrested and re-arraigned in Nigeria after he was extradited from an undisclosed location.
In July, Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami disclosed that Kanu had been extradited to Nigeria to continue his trial.
“Self-acclaimed leader of secessionist group Indigenous People of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu has, for your information, been intercepted through the collaborative effort of the Nigeria Intelligence and Security services. He has been brought back to Nigeria in order to continue facing trials after disappearing while on bail regarding 11 count charge against him,” Malami said.
However, Kanu’s re-arrest and trial have spiralled violence in South-East Nigeria.
Many lives and properties have been lost over attacks on public institutions and security operatives during the forceful enforcement of sit-at-home orders by the group.
Innocent civilians are also being attacked for failing to comply with the sit-at-home orders by the IPOB.
Some legal practitioners and rights groups have also urged the Federal Government to ensure that Kanu’s trial is fair and free from prejudice to avert a crisis.