Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has pleaded not guilty to the 15 charges bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism, preferred against him by the Federal Government.
He pleaded not guilty before Justice Binta Nyako when the case resumed at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday.
Channels Television reports that Kanu, who was brought into the courtroom around 10:15 am, said he was innocent of all the allegations levelled against him, even as he complained from the dock that some counts in the amended charge were similar.
Immediately the embattled IPOB leader finished taking his plea, the prosecution counsel, Labaran Magaji, told the court that he was ready to proceed with the trial, adding that he brought two witnesses to testify against the defendant.
However, Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), told the court that he had on Tuesday evening, filed a 43-paged preliminary objection for the charge to be quashed and struck out without the matter proceeding to trial.
Labaran, however, argued that Kanu’s two applications were not ripe for hearing, stressing that he would require time to go through them so as to be able to respond.
Channels TV said in a brief ruling, Justice Nyako noted that since Kanu’s first application is challenging the propriety of his trial, as well as the competence of the charge against him, the court ought to hear it first.
The court, subsequently, adjourned till February 16 to hear the pending application.
Meanwhile, the government told Justice Nyako that it was Kanu who chose to appear before the court in the same clothe he wore the previous day, contrary to a previous court order.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Labaran told the court shortly after the sitting began, “The case is adjourned until today for arraignment.
“But before then, I crave your indulgence of your Lordship because you gave an order that the defendant should not appear in these clothes.
“But the defendant chose to wear the same clothe because it is a designer.”
According to NAN, the counsel also informed the court that the DSS had complied with the court order by procuring an orthopedic mattress and pillows for the IPOB leader to make him comfortable in detention.
But Ozekhome disagreed that his client did not refuse to wear another clothes.
He said though they got him a set of another clothe, before they could finish with the day’s activities yesterday, it was a bit late and they could not hand over the items to him.
He assured that in the next adjourned date, Kanu would appear in another clothe.
Ozekhome commended the DSS for complying with the court order by procuring the orthopedic mattress and pillows for his client with the aim of making him comfortable.
Justice Nyako said the clothes could be handed to the legal officer that came with the security outfit.
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