JUSTICE Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja, has granted bail to the other four defendants standing trial alongside Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the now proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), warning them, however, to stay away from public gatherings and avoid granting interviews.
“No welcome `oyoyo’ gathering,” Justice Nyako warned. “If you do that, you will be sent back to prison. Go home, be with your family, come to court. The trial has commenced.”
The defendants – Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, David Nwawuisdi and Benjamin Madubugwu – were admitted to bail in the sum of N10 million each.
They alongside Kanu are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and illegal possession of firearms. Kanu was granted bail in April 2017, but he has since gone underground after soldiers allegedly raided his home in Umuahia Abia State, in September.
The accused persons were granted bail following an application filed by Ifeanyi Ejioro, their counsel, citing his client’s health status.
In her ruling, Justice Nyako said she had carefully considered the consolidated application for bail submitted by their counsel and the number of years the accused persons had spent in prison custody as well as the defendants’ health status.
She also made reference to a ruling she had read of “a sister judge”, as well as the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
Aside a bail bond of N10 million and restriction from gatherings and press interviews, the accused persons are to submit their travelling documents to the court as they are not allowed to travel outside the country.
Also, they are to report to the commissioner of police of their respective states every two weeks – Chimezie will report to the Commissioner of Police, Rivers; Onwudiwe and Nwawuisdi, to the Commissioner of Police, Enugu, and Madubugwu to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra.
One of the defendants, Chimezie, prayed the court to prohibit personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) from harassing them, and Justice Nyako assured them that they were under the custody of the court.
The case was subsequently adjourned to November 14 for continuation.