…Labels prosecution counsel ‘terrorist”

 

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja 

 

The  Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Monday, dismissed a fresh bail application filed by the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB),  Nnamdi Kanu.

The court equally refused Kanu’s request to be either transferred to prison custody or placed on house arrest.

However, it ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to always grant Kanu access to his team of lawyers, not exceeding five persons on every visiting day.

In addition, the court ordered that Kanu must be given “a clean place” to consult with his lawyers at the DSS detention facility, adding that he must be granted access to a doctor of his choice.

But unhappy with the ruling, the detained leader of IPOB, vented his anger on the prosecution counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN, labelling him a “terrorist.”

In the dismissed fresh application, Kanu had prayed the court to release him on bail, pending the determination of the treasonable felony charge the Federal Government filed against him.

However, Justice Binta Nyako in her ruling said she was not minded to exercise its discretion in favour of the defendant, whom she said jumped the bail it earlier granted him.

Justice Nyako noted that those who stood surety for the defendant had, after he escaped from the country, approached the court and applied to be discharged from the case.

She held that the sureties, in their applications, claimed that they were not aware of the whereabouts of the defendant, a situation that forced the court to order the forfeiture of their N100 million bail bonds.

According to the trial court, the issue is currently pending before the Court of Appeal.

It held that having refused Kanu’s request for bail on several occasions, the only option available to him was to take the matter before the appellate court.

Meanwhile, Justice Nyako warned that any attempt by Kanu’s legal team to file similar applications before the court would be regarded as a gross abuse of the judicial process.

“You have an option of appeal; please exercise your right of appeal,” the trial judge added

But responding with anger, Kanu, who addressed the court from the dock, denied the allegation that he jumped the bail that was previously granted to him, insisting that he only escaped an attempt to assassinate him.

He told the court that the government acted in breach of international treaties it entered into, when it forcefully arrested him in Kenya and rendered him back to the country for the continuation of his trial.

Kanu then his attention to the prosecution counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), and angrily labeled him a “terrorist”.

Kanu said he was surprised that the senior lawyer, who is currently the Chairman of the Nigeria Body of Benchers, could not advise the government properly.

He insisted that going by the provision of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, he could no longer be tried since Nigeria breached international treaties that forbade the forceful arrest and rendition he was subjected to.

He argued that both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, in their various decisions, declared his forceful rendition from Kenya as an act of illegality.

Displaying the bundle of law books  he entered the dock with, said: “My lord, you said in your earlier ruling that you will not grant me bail until you make a determination about the reason for my disappearance. But you have not done so.

“At this stage, I am of the opinion that you can’t try me without first looking into that. The criminals came to my house to kill me.

“I don’t understand why my trial must be conducted contrary to the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is the laws of Nigeria as at today. This court is in violation of laws of Nigeria. Section 2(3) (f) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, is very clear.”

this juncture, the prosecution, Awomolo, SAN, tried to interject by asking Kanu’s legal team to call him to order

Turning his attention to Chief Awomolo, the detained IPOB leader said: “This man is a terrorist for conducting a trial in violation of an international treaty that Nigeria entered into. Once a treaty is entered into and signed, it becomes a law.

They are all terrorists! No court can try me in Nigeria. Anything done in violation of any treaty entered into by Nigeria is an act of terrorism.

This man here is a terrorist as at today. He is a dishonest man! You are a terrorist! Who the hell are you? Follow what the law says.

“I have been in detention for over three years. You are the Chairman of the Body of Benchers and you are violating the laws of this country,” Kanu fumed.

But dumbfounded by Kanu’s outburst, Awomolo simply said, he was not angry about it.

“I am not a terrorist and I am not provoked by the action of the defendant. It is understandable. He is only being emotional,” the senior lawyer added.

Justice Nyako subsequently adjourned the matter to June 19 and 20.


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