By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – A mild drama took place within the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja this morning, as the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, whose trial is billed to commence today, refused to remove his handcuffs.
It took the intervention of his lead counsel, Chief Chuks Muoma, SAN, to persuade Kanu to step-down from the prison van that brought him to court for trial.
Though he eventually succumbed to persuasion by his lawyer to alight from the prison van, however, Kanu, swore that he would not allow anybody to remove the handcuffs which he wore into the courtroom.
Meantime, trial Justice John Tsoho who is scheduled to hear the testimony of witnesses the federal government will bring before the court today to testify against Kanu, has stood down the matter.
It will be recalled that Justice Tsoho had on January 29, denied bail to Kanu and two other pro-Biafra agitators, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, who are facing trial with him.
The trio are answering to a six-count treason charge that was preferred against them by the federal government.
Kanu who was hitherto the Director of Radio Biafra and Television, has been in detention since October 14, 2015, when he was arrested by security operatives upon his arrival to Nigeria from his base in the United Kingdom.
The defendants were in the charge that was signed by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mr. Mohammed Diri, alleged to have committed treasonable felony, an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
FG alleged that they were the ones managing the affairs of the IPOB which it described as “an unlawful society”.
Specifically, Kanu, was alleged to have illegally smuggled radio transmitters into Nigeria, which he used to disseminate “hate broadcasts”, encouraging the “secession of the Republic of Biafra”, from Nigeria.
However, the accused persons, pleaded not guilty to the charge on January 20, even as the court ordered their remand at Kuje prison in Abuja.