The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday fixed April 25 for ruling on bail application filed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and three others.
The court also reserved April 25 for varying its earlier ruling on protection of witnesses in the matter through the use of screen.
The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako had earlier maintained that the ruling on bail application would not stop trial, which must to go on simultaneously. Justice Nyako also reminded parties that having ruled on secret trial, such would not be reversed.
According to the court, the aim of secrete trial was to protect the identity of security operatives who would be coming as witnesses beyond the case. “You already know them, they are the ones who arrested you and detained you. I don’t see any case there.
If you do not want the screen, I will ask them to wear mask”, the judge stated stated. Kanu, Onwudiwe Chidiebere, Banjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi are undergoing trial on a five-count charge bordering on treasonable felony and others brought against them by the federal government.
The federal government has brought Kanu and his codefendants to court amidst tight security. When the matter was called, counsel to Kanu, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, informed the court of a pending application dated March 2 and filed the same day.
He also said to have served same on the prosecution the same day.
According to Ejiofor, the application was pursuant to Section 182 of Criminal Procedure Act, and hinged on the right of the applicant to be admitted to bail pending outcome of the charges levelled against him. He told the court that the application was supported by a five-paragraph affidavit.
He also reminded the court that the defendant had been granted unconditional release by several courts including the Federal High Court, presided by Justice Ademola, but which the federal government has failed to comply with. He stated that in the course of detaining the defendant, he has suffered severe health issues.
He asked the court to admit Kanu to bail in most liberal terms, stressing that as a law abiding citizen, he would not jump bail but would be available for trial. Both the second and third defendants respectively asked the court to grant their clients bail as the offenses for which they were charged were bailable.
They argued that if beyond the charges levelled against them, which at the first instance was not even known to law, there was any other reason for which they were denied bail, such reason should be brought before the court.
Otherwise, they should be admitted to bail. Same position was adopted by the counsel to the fourth defendant, even as he urged the court to exercise its discretion and grant the defendant/applicant bail.
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