IPOB: Judge warns Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer, shifts trial to Jan

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Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court on Thursday in Abuja issued a severe warning to Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the counsel for Nnamdi Kanu, the incarcerated leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to avoid writing letters directly to her about his client’s trial.

The Judge objected that the lawyer had written two lengthy letters to her personally, rather than going through the Registrar of the court, as is customary.

While making her views clear in open court, Justice Nyako stated that a repeat of the breach of procedure to reach court on such an issue will not be tolerated.

Despite the Judge’s admonition, the lawyer attempted to move two motions on notice on behalf of his client.

Kanu’s counsel has filed an application on notice with the court, requesting a shortening of time to move the Biafran leader’s trial from January 19 next year to a later date in November or December.

The Biafran leader, however, was not present in court to observe proceedings because he was not brought by the Department of State Service DSS, where he has been on remand since his re-arrest by the federal government after jumping bail previously granted.

The federal government’s attorney, Mr Shuaib Labaran, informed the Judge that his client had filed a counter-affidavit vigorously opposing the request to abridge time in the trial, which had been scheduled for January of next year.

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Justice Nyako, who was caught aback by the motion’s motivation, told Kanu’s lawyer that her court did not have the judicial authority to move the trial date backwards.

In the drama that ensued, the case diary of the court was read to the lawyer to establish that the court has crowded cases to attend to.

However, following the persistent plea, Justice Nyako agreed to shift other cases slated for January 18 to accommodate Kanu’s trial which will last till January 19 and 20.

In another drama, Ejiofor sought to move another application by Kanu challenging the competence of the 7-count treasonable felony charges brought against him by the federal government.

The move was resisted by the federal government lawyer on the ground that the motion was not ripe for hearing and that the business slated for the day was the motion for abridgement of time only.

Justice Nyako agreed with the government lawyer and rejected the bid to bring the motion forward.

However, following another request on behalf of Kanu by his lawyer, Justice Nyako ordered DSS to allow Kanu to practice his faith, change his clothes and be given the maximum possible comfort in the detention facility.

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