Nnamdi Kanu: Security agencies barred from court premises

•Allow Kanu to practice his faith, change clothes, court orders DSS

Defers hearing of application to quash charge till Jan 18

By Anayo Okoli, Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Steve Oko & Emmanuel Iheaka

Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, amongst other top Igbo leaders have faulted the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on his position that no political solution is on the table for detained Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

They opined  that a political solution would go a long way in bringing peace to Nigeria.

They reminded Malami that the problem that threw up Kanu  is not only about Igbo but affects other parts of Nigeria and an acceptable political solution would also calm the nerves in other parts of the country.

These reactions came on a day the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, deferred hearing of the application the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, filed to quash the treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him, till January 18, 2022.

Trial Justice Binta Nyako also ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to allow the defendant to practice his faith and change his clothes.

The court equally directed the security agency to give the detained IPOB leader “maximum possible comfort in the detention facility”.

Ohanaeze, ADF react

According to Ohanaeze spokesman, Chief Alex Chidozie Ogbonnia, a political solution is all-encompassing, as it includes redressing  the injustices being  agitated against by youths of Nigeria, including Igbo youths.

“When we talk of a political solution, it is all-encompassing. It includes addressing the issues that threw up people like Nnamdi Kanu, marginalization, injustice. Kanu has raised the consciousness of the Igbo youths to these problems. And some of  them are now seeing a state of Eldorado.

“IPOB philosophy has become opium in Igbo youths. There are certain political  actions that would be taken and Nnamdi Kanu will even see that things are changing and it will be easy to convince him to tow another line.

“Malami  should know that what is happening is not affecting only Igbo but the entire  country and the earlier a solution is found, the better for Nigeria”, Ohanaeze spokesman said.

In its reaction, the elite Igbo body, Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, said the implication of what Malami said was that the request of  Chief Mbazulike Amechi-led Igbo elders is not being considered.

“Of course that is the implication. It means that the Federal Government has no regard for the Igbo Elders who went to see President Muhammadu Buhari over the issue of Nnamdi Kanu. They have made a mockery of the entire scenario.

“They are not disposed to a political solution. Perhaps, they want the trial of Nnamdi Kanu to run its full course. Let us wait and see”, ADF director of media and publicity, Hon. Abia Onyike said.

However, eminent lawyer Chief Mike Ahamba, a senior advocate, cautioned that the President’s interference in seeking political solutions should not infringe on the judicial process.

“You can’t be asking the President to do what he has no power to do. I don’t know what they mean by a political solution in a civil regime. You can only talk about such a solution in a military regime where they don’t respect anything.

“The President has no power to interfere in the judicial process. If they can find a political solution without infringing on the independence of the judiciary, then fine. But I don’t see the avenue. But the Attorney General, considering the facts, can decide to put a Nolle Prosequi provided he won’t run into trouble.

“I want to appeal to Nnamdi Kanu to listen to the elders and pull himself a little back from his threats to enable them to assist him. For example, if he will agree that he will no longer threaten the Federal Government, then Abubakar Malami can give him Nolle Prosequi.

“He didn’t steal; it is a political offence. But outside that, they are not likely to go political”, Ahamba said.

Stop arrogating the power of the President to yourself, Archbishop tells Malami

Also reacting, the Archbishop of Okigwe, Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Livinus Onuagha told the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to concentrate on his job and stop arrogating himself to the position of the President.

Most Rev. Onuagha, alleged that it is the people who are very officious that are destroying the life and name of Nigeria as a country.

READ ALSO: IPOB: Allow Nnamdi Kanu change clothes, court orders DSS

He said that until President Muhammadu Buhari gets up to be on top of everything in Nigeria, and stop the overzealous activities of his appointees, things will not work in Nigeria and the country will continue to go backward.

 “It is the people who are very officious that are destroying the life and name of Nigeria as a country, and until the President gets up to be on top of everything, things will not work in the country.”

Malami’s comment embarrassing —Wabara

In his reaction, former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Wabara, said Malami’s comment was a big embarrassment to the country.

Wabara accused the Attorney General of being unnecessarily overzealous and parading himself in a manner that most often, portrays his actions at variance with the position of Mr. President.

The former number three citizen fumed that if Nigeria were to be a civilized society, Malami would have long been relieved of his position, describing his utterances as very embarrassing.

“Malami is the most confused, if not the most unlearned Attorney General of the Federation that Nigeria has ever had.

“He has embarrassed this government enough that if  Mr. President were not distracted, the likes of Malami won’t be in his cabinet.

“Mr. President is focused on so many things but time has come for him to address the issue of Malami. What has he not done to embarrass this government? The other time,  he was proposing a state of emergency in Anambra outside the knowledge of Mr. President!

“In civilized climes, Malami would have been asked to take the back seat. If I were the President, I won’t have the likes of Malami in my cabinet.”

Senator Wabara further accused the Attorney General of trying to confuse Nigerians over the promise by President Buhari to eminent Igbo Leaders that represent millions of Ndigbo both at home and in the Diaspora.

He said that Mr. President had made a credible promise to the Igbo delegation which Malami should not misinterpret.

The former Senate President insisted that a political solution remains the best option  out of  Kanu’s matter, and advised those opposed to putting the interest of the country above their personal interests.

Also responding, Bishop Sunday Onuoha said Malami’s view or position notwithstanding, Igbo leaders would continue to  engage the necessary stakeholders until there is a logical solution on the issue of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

The cleric said that sometimes, it might not be necessary to join issues publicly with people who hold contrary opinions on matters as sensitive as Kanu’s.

“In a family, a discussion goes on until we get to a logical conclusion”, Bishop Onuoha said.

He sued for peace, urging all parties to put the peace of the nation above other interests.

Allow Kanu to practice his faith, change clothes, court orders DSS

Meanwhile, Kanu was absent in court at the resumed proceedings in his case yesterday.

Though trial Justice Nyako had on November 10, adjourned the trial till January 19, 2022, she however brought the date forward, following  an application by Kanu’s legal team for an abridgment of the date.

When the  matter was called up, the government lawyer, Mr. Shuaib Labaran, told the court that he  filed a counter-affidavit to oppose Kanu’s requests for abridgment of time and for the charge to be quashed.

Without allowing the prosecution and the defence team to engage in any form of argument, Justice Nyako, after reviewing the court’s diary, said she could only bring the case forward to January 18, which is a day before the initial adjourned date.

Justice Nyako said she would hear all pending applications on that date.

Specifically, Kanu, in an application he filed through his team of lawyers led by Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, is asking the court to acquit and discharge him of all counts in the charge.

He argued that the court lacks the requisite jurisdiction to try him on the basis of a charge he said was grossly incompetent.

The embattled IPOB leader contended that there was no proof of evidence attached to the amended charge against him.

According to him, “That no allegation was made in any of the counts of the amended charge that the alleged sundry acts of the Defendant/Applicant were physically  carried out by him, within the geographical space or territorial boundaries of Nigeria.

“That the only element required to constitute and found liability for incitement is the actual words allegedly uttered by the Defendant/Applicant.

“That the alleged acts for which the Defendant was charged, do not constitute terrorism offences in London, United Kingdom, where they were allegedly committed”, Kanu added.

It will be recalled that the IPOB leader had earlier applied to be transferred from the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, to the Kuje Correctional Center.

Even though the request was refused, Justice Nyako, however, ordered the DSS to grant him access to three visitors of his choice, every Monday and Thursday of the week.

Speaking with Vanguard shortly before the court commenced sitting  yesterday, a member of Kanu’s legal team, Mr. Maxwell Opara, said the application to move him out of DSS custody would be revisited.

“For today, we are focusing on the application for abridgment of the trial date and for the charge to be quashed. However, if time permits, we will re-apply for his transfer to prison custody”, Opara added.

FG had on October 21, re-arrainged Kanu on a seven-count amended charge.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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