Court schedules date for Nnamdi Kanu’s trial to resume.

by Amos Kalu

The trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is scheduled to resume on February 26 at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

This was disclosed on Thursday by Aloy Ejimakor, the IPOB leader’s special attorney, in a message on his X account (previously known as Twitter).

Nnamdi Kanu
Nnamdi Kanu

The Federal High Court in Abuja put the 2015 case on hold after the Court of Appeal dropped Kanu’s terrorism allegations in October 2022.

However, the Nigerian government appealed the court decision through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, and as a result, the Supreme Court issued an order postponing the ruling’s implementation.

The Supreme Court mandated on December 15, 2023, that Mr. Kanu’s trial on terrorism-related allegations continue in the Abuja court.

Resumption: According to Ejimakor’s X post, the case would still be presided over by trial judge Binta Nyako.”

The attorney posted the notice of the hearing on February 8 on the microblogging site.

“Any party wishing to postpone the hearing must do so as soon as possible by submitting a request to the court; if the request is based on a factual dispute, you must be ready to provide proof supporting that claim.

“The parties are advised that in order to support their respective cases and refute the arguments of their opponent, they must present all evidence through witnesses or documents at the hearing,” the court stated in the hearing notice.

He made it clear that the hearing will need proof, and that failing to present evidence at the hearing could result in the party in question being placed under restraint or having to pay for it.

“Any party seeking to compel the attendance of witnesses may promptly ask the Court to issue one or more subpoenas demanding the attendance of the necessary witnesses.

It is imperative that the request be made in a way that gives enough time to fairly inform the necessary witnesses.

“Should the witness be asked to produce books or documents, the summons should provide enough information for him to comprehend the purpose of the request,” the court stated.

“Whoever summons a witness through the Court shall reimburse the witness for reasonable costs and lost time, to be determined by the Court.”

The court further stated that if the money wasn’t fixed and deposited in the court, it might decline to order a witness to attend.

He said, “Any book or document in the other party’s possession or power that either party wishes to use as evidence at the hearing must notify the other party in writing with reasonable advance notice to present it at the hearing, otherwise it will not be permitted for you to give any secondary evidence of its content.”

The IPOB leader, Kanu, was initially detained in 2015 while previous President Muhammadu Buhari was in office.

On October 13, 2022, the Court of Appeal in Abuja ruled that the IPOB leader had been inappropriately handed over to Nigeria, a clear breach of the nation’s extradition treaty as well as a violation of his basic human rights.

As a result, the court dismissed the Nigerian government’s terrorism accusations against Kanu and mandated his departure from the State Security Service facility.

However, the Nigerian government declined to free the IPOB leader, claiming that if Kanu is freed, it might not be possible for him to appear in later court cases and that his release would lead to instability in the southern areas of Nigeria where he comes from.

The government then challenged the court decision through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, and in doing so, it was able to get an order from the Supreme Court that suspended the court ruling’s execution.

On December 15, the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the appeal, overturning the lower court’s decision to acquit Mr. Kanu and directing that his trial be continued in the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The Supreme Court’s order is followed by the restarted trial.

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