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Biafra agitation leader, Kanu declines to enter plea on terrorism charge

Nnamdi Kanu at the Federal High Court Abuja for criminal charges PHOTO: Ladidi Lucy Elukpo.

Nnamdi Kanu at the Federal High Court Abuja for criminal charges PHOTO: Ladidi Lucy Elukpo.

The embattled DIrector of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division refused to enter a plea on a – six count charge of terrorism on the ground that he will not be given a fair trial.

Kanu was brought before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on charges of treason, importation of illegal goods and possession of firearms preferred against him by the Department of State Security (DSS).

Docked alongside Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, Kanu expressed his lack of confidence in the trial judge, because of information available to him.

His words: “I will not sacrifice the due process of the law founded in the principles of natural justice upon the altar of speedy release from detention. In other words, I will rather remain in detention than subjecting myself to a trial that I know amounts to perversion of justice.

“Previous court judgments and rulings have been delivered by competent court of laws in Nigeria in my favour which the Department of the State Security Service failed to obey or implement. On that premise, I am not ready to stand before this court for trial because I am convinced that the outcome will go the way of the previous ones, therefore I have chosen to remain in custody until justice prevails in my matter in the interest of justice.”

In his reaction, counsel for the Federal Government, Mr. Mohammed Diri, prayed Justice Mohammed to reject the claim of Kanu on the ground that he cannot dictate to the court. He said that the accused, if he had any objection to his trial, can only come by way of application stating his grievances with exhibits in clear terms on why he should not be tried by a particular court.

Diri who is the Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation, sited section 396 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, saying that under the act, an objection to trial can only be raised by the accused when the plea has been taken and not before as being done by the accused person. He therefore, prayed the court to compel the accused who was already in the dock to take his plea.

But counsel to Kanu, Mr. Vincent Egechukwu Obetta informed the court that the accused has the fundamental right to object to his trial by the judge, and pleaded with the court to grant him his request.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed agreed that the accused person has the right to object to his trial before his court on the ground that justice is rooted on confidence. He rejected the submission of the government’s counsel.

The judge therefore, ordered that the case file be returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court so that it can be re-assigned to another judge and for further action.

Kanu had earlier been granted unconditional release by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal high Court, Abuja Division from the custody of the DSS but the order was not obeyed. Instead, a fresh charge was brought against him by the government.

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9 Comments
  • Ify Onabu

    Buhari and his gang are simply making a mockery of the judicial process. A Judge of the Federal High Court has ordered the release of Mr Nnamdi Kanu from detention. Instead of releasing him, Buhari’s gang re-arrested him. Buhari has some other ideas about the operation of the rule of law in a democracy. The rule of law according to Buhari’s perception, is that an accused must be pronounced guilty as charged. It does not matter whether such an accused person is innocent. It amounts to an abuse of the judicial process for a government to arrest a citizen, charge him to court and then refuse to obey the order of the court. Therefore, let it be on record that Nnamdi Kanu has become the first political prisoner under Buhari’s second spell as Nigeria’s maximum ruler. By contrast, under President Jonathan, Nigeria did not record a single case of political imprisonment. That is the change our people voted for.

    • 100%Biafra

      Are you expecting an uneducated cow to listen to the rule of law? Its left for the judiciary to revolt upon this as its integrity is now in shambles under the Cow’s present Government.

      • KESTER EBO

        not sure who is referred to as “cow” ,if the impression I got from your post is correct, that is very disrespectful to refer to the President as a cow. I have STRONG reservations about this government but I have to respect the office of the President ( not the individual) so we have to be tactful when expressing our frustrations on national issues.We do not want the World to see our President as a “cow”, it’s the image of Nigeria that we are trashing.
        This agitation for Biafra is a serious distraction from the fundamental challenges facing us, Igbos. We are being raped by our Igbo ” Leaders” while the rest of the country is making an attempt to improve infrastructure in their states. The first Biafra was hijacked for personal advancement which contributed to the collapse of that dream and now it is deja vu , attention is being shifted from the unashamed corruption by the governments in the so called “Biafra states” to desire to be free from oppression.
        Lets hold our Governors, Commissioners and Local Govt. Chairmen accountable to the millions they are given to improve our lot, then we can bargain from strength than weakness. Igbo Kwenu !!

        • political conscience

          Aey!

        • 100%Biafra

          Not until the court order is obeyed

    • Joseph

      This is a different charge

  • AriseNigeria

    Nigeria has no basis to exist as a nation, therefore the agitation for the creation of Biafra will benefit the Igbos, and may be benefit the remaining states that wants to remain as Nigerians. The hard fact truth is that Nigeria was never meant to be a nation, should not have become a nation and should not be a nation. Buhari has finally returned the junta military back to power, however no amount of killings or intimidation will stop the actualization of Biafra, God has written it in stone. Islam and christianity can never co-exist, no nation has experienced that in our history. I am glad Nigeria has finally began to crumble and its eternal fall is just a matter of time sparked by an unavoidable catastrophic events, SO HELP US GOD.

  • 2mmmmmm1nnnnnn

    NO CIVILIZED MAN OBEYS UNJUST LAWS; WHILE ALL [OPPRESSIVE TENDENCIES, CONDUCTS, AND] ACTS OF GOVERNANCE FROM ANY STATE [NIGERI] THAT TYRANNIZES THE CITIZENRY ARE RESISTED BY ALL MEANS INCLUDING REVOLTS?

  • Ikorodua

    These military Judges are making a mockery of our hard fought and won democratic dispensation. THEY ARE LEGAL and INTELLECTUAL FRAUDS. Buhari appointed them as one of his tools to CHANGE this country to a DICTATORSHIP. His military boys are already very active in all the democratic elections :- bulldozing, intimidationg, killing civilians , INEC officials to declare Buhari the winner of all elections:- Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Kogi, etc, etc.
    DICTATORSHIP is gradually eclipsing us:- Buhari’s comfortable and right element
    They are also reverting to their old and well known tactics of inventing phantom/ghost charges against their perceived foes:- we all remember with awe charges against Pa Awo (coup plot), OBJ (coup plot) , Abiola (insurrection and treason), Saro Wiwa( treasonable felony) , Diya (coup plot),etc

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