By A Correspondent
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, refused to admit Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to bail.
Justice Binta Nyako, in a ruling, held that since Kanu was earlier granted bail in 2017 and jumped the bail, the court must first determine the real reason he jumped the bail before he reapply for another one.
Justice Nyako then dismissed the application for bail.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had, on April 8, exonerated the Federal Government on the allegation that the leader of the IPOB was forcefully abducted abroad to stand his trial.
Nyako, in a ruling, held that rendition for the purpose of criminal investigation is allowed.
Nyako said since Kanu was on bench warrant, the law allowed that anywhere he is sighted, he can be arrested and be brought to face his trial.
“Rendition for the purpose of criminal investigation is allowed.
“In the instant case, there is bench warrant on the defendant (Kanu). Suffice it to say, he is a fugitive before the court,” she said.
The judge, who dismissed Kanu’s move to challenge the terrorism charge, upheld seven counts in the fresh charge filed by the federal government against the IPOB leader.
Nyako said that the federal government, through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), had been able to established some allegations against Kanu in counts one, two, three, four, five, eight and 15.
“Counts one, two, three, four, five, eight and 15 show some allegations. The court shall proceed to try the defendant (Kanu) on those counts, ” she ruled.
After the review of the 15 counts, she held that about eight of the counts appeared to be similar and did not disclose action.
She, therefore, ordered that counts six, seven, nine, 10, 11, 12 13 and 14 should be struck out.
Nyako also ruled that the order proscribing IPOB as a terror group still subsisted until it was vacated since the issue was still on appeal.
She dismissed the argument of Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, counsel for Kanu, that whether IPOB was a terrorist organisation under the Nigerian law or not was still a subject of appeal.
Meanwhile, Kanu has told the court that he has been a fan of Liverpool Football Club from childhood.
Kanu, who disclosed this when Justice Nyako jokingly asked him his favourite football team, said Liverpool F.C. had been his club since he was seven.
The development occurred when his lawyer, Ozekhome, complained that the Department of State Services (DSS) had not been allowing him and other counsel enough time to meet with the IPOB leader whenever they visit him in detention.
Nyako, who reminded Ozekhome that he had once thanked the DSS in open court for procuring an orthopedic mattress, pillow and others for his client, said she had already ordered that the security outfit should give Kanu moderate treatment and care while in detention like food, clothing, medicare, etc.
Then she turned to Kanu and noted that despite her order for him to change his clothes, the IPOB leader has continued to put on the same milk-colour designer’s wear.
The judge said though Kanu, on his on accord, keeps coming into the court with the same attire, she saw him in the media with another cloth.
The judge then jokingly said she was a Liverpool F.C. fan and asked Ozekhome if he was also a fan of a football club, and the senior lawyer answered in affirmative, saying he was also a fan of Liverpool F.C.
Nyako then asked Kanu if he was a fan of Chelsea Football Club, going by the designer’s clothes he keeps wearing to court.
“What is you team?” she asked.
Kanu gently stood up in the dock and said: “My team is Liverpool even from age of seven”.
The judge then told the DSS legal director who was in court to always allow Kanu to watch the matches of his favourite football club.
“You must allow the defendant to watch the matches any day they are playing,” she said, adding that she was going to make an order to that effect.
The DSS official, however, said his office had always given Kanu access to watch television.
As at the time of filing this report, the hearing in the matter was still ongoing. (NAN)
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