A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed April 25 to deliver ruling in the application for variation of the order of court on protection of witnesses in the case against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Through his defence counsels led by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Mr. Kanu asked the court to set aside the order made on December 13, 2016 for the protection of witnesses.
Other lawyers in the defense of Kanu are Inalegwu Adoga, E.I Esene and Chukwuma Ozougwu. They argued that having been acquitted of the charges of terrorism and importation of weapons, the defendants(FG) cannot be tried with the identities of witnesses based on section 36(6) of the 1999 Constitution.
However, counsel to the Federal Government, Suleiman Labaran in a counter affidavit urged the court to dismiss the application as a ploy to delay the trial.
Recall that Kanu was charged alongside Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi on charges of treasonable felony and criminal defamation.
Recall also that the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had on March 2nd, struck-out six out of the 11-count criminal charges the Federal Government preferred against the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and three other pro-Biafra agitators, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.
The court, in the ruling delivered by Justice Binta Nyako, had also said that the fact that IPOB was not an organisation registered in Nigeria, it however did not make it an illegal society.
“It may be true that IPOB is not registered in Nigeria, but does that make it an illegal organisation?”, the judge queried. Justice Nyako held that the Federal Government failed to prove that IPOB, allegedly managed by Kanu and his co-defendants — Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, is an unlawful society.
Recall also that Kanu had on February last year, opposed the application by the federal government to conduct his trial in secret.
FG had in the application it filed before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, decried that all the witnesses billed to testify against Kanu and two other pro-Biafra agitators, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, who are facing trial with him, have declined to appear in court.
Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, sandwiched between security operaives, leaving the court yesterday in Abuja. It said the witnesses insisted that they would not testify against the defendants unless their safety was guaranteed.