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Monday, February 26, 2024

Court sets date for resumption of Nnamdi Kanu trial

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Court resumes Nnamdi Kanu trial

The Federal High Court in Abuja has set February 26 for hearing on the resumption of the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

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Aloy Ejimakor, special counsel to the IPOB leader, revealed this in a post on his X account (formerly known as Twitter) on Thursday.

The case that began in 2015 was put on hold at the Federal High Court in Abuja after the Court of Appeal dismissed terrorism charges against Kanu in October 2022.

But the Nigerian government, through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, appealed the court ruling and subsequently obtained an order from the Supreme Court suspending the execution of the ruling.

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On December 15, 2023, the Supreme Court ordered the continuation of Mr. Kanu’s trial on terrorism charges at the Abuja court.

Resumption

Ejimakor, in the X post, said Binta Nyako, the trial judge, will continue to preside over the case.

The lawyer uploaded the February 8 hearing notice to the microblogging platform.

“If any of the parties wishes to postpone the hearing, they must request it from the Court as soon as possible; and if the request is based on any question of fact, you must be prepared to give evidence of those facts.

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“The parties are advised that at the hearing they must present all evidence through witnesses or documents that each of them wishes to rely on in support of their own case and in contradiction to that of their opponent,” the court said. in the hearing notice.

He highlighted that evidence will be required at the hearing and that the failure of either party to provide evidence at the time of the hearing could result in the party being restrained or required to pay to do so.

“Parties wishing to demand the appearance of witnesses must immediately request the Court to issue one or more subpoenas for the appearance of the required witnesses.

“It is essential that the request be presented in a manner that allows time to reasonably notify the required witnesses.

“If the witness is required to bring books or documents, these must be sufficiently detailed in the summons to enable him to understand what is meant,” the court further said.

“Any party who calls a witness through the Court is obliged to pay said witness a reasonable sum of money to be fixed by the Court to cover his expenses and loss of time.”

The court added that it could refuse to compel the appearance of a witness unless the money has been fixed and deposited in court.

“If either party wishes to use as evidence at the hearing any book or document in the possession or power of the other party, it must notify the other party in writing with reasonable advance notice to present it at the hearing, otherwise it will not be will allow you to give any secondary evidence of its content,” he stated.

Background

Kanu, the IPOB leader, was first arrested in 2015 under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on October 13, 2022, held that the IPOB leader was extraordinarily surrendered to Nigeria and that the action constituted a flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and also a violation of his fundamental human rights.

The court therefore quashed the terrorism charges brought against Kanu by the Nigerian government and ordered his release from the State Security Service premises.

But the Nigerian government refused to release the IPOB leader, insisting that he (Kanu) may not be available in subsequent court proceedings if he is released and that his release would cause insecurity in the south-east, where he is from.

Subsequently, the government, through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, appealed the court ruling and subsequently obtained an order suspending the execution of the court ruling before the Supreme Court.

Delivering judgment on the appeal on December 15, the Supreme Court reversed the acquittal granted to Mr. Kanu by the lower court and accordingly ordered the continuation of his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The resumed trial complies with the Supreme Court’s order.

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