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S’East Reps Demand End To Trial, Court Denies Kanu Bail

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S’East Reps Demand End To Trial, Court Denies Kanu Bail

President Bola Tinubu has been urged by certain South-East members of the House of Representatives, led by Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere, to use the appropriate constitutional provisions to halt the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra who is currently incarcerated.

This was as they said the dismissal of Kanu’s bail application by the court was another major setback for the healing process and return of peace in the region.

Justice Binta Nyako on Tuesday rejected Kanu’s bail request, and granted an accelerated hearing of the criminal case against Kanu.

Speaking on behalf of other South-East lawmakers who were in court, Ugochinyere stated that granting Kanu bail would have provided an opportunity to open doors for discussion to bring about peace in the South-East.

He said, “We received the news of the rejection of the bail with sadness and we just lost an opportunity to commence the process of healing in our land. That bail application, if granted would have brought an opportunity to open doors for discussion to bring about peace in the South-East.

“Just a few weeks back, the Federal Government discontinued the criminal charge filed against Omoyele Sowore by the Federal Government. I’m also aware that the Federal Government has allowed Sunday Igboho back home.

“We are calling on President Bola Tinubu not to allow to this moment pass him by. What the President should do and the Attorney General in particular, is to invoke the power invested on him under Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution to discontinue the matter. The case can be discontinued in the interest of the public and justice.

“It is also painful for us that this bail application was rejected and we hope that President Tinubu will do the needful by discontinuing the matter.”

Meanwhile, Kanu, on Tuesday, urged the Federal High Court in Abuja to send him to Kuje prison rather than resturn him to the custody of the Department of State Services, where he had been since 2021.

He alleged that the DSS had no medical facility to treat him, saying there was a plan for him to die in the DSS custody.

Kanu spoke from the box after his bail application was declined by Justice Binta Nyako.

Kanu had on February 26 applied for a fresh bail, predicating his request on health grounds and also to be able to put up a good defence in the matter.

Ruling, the judge held that the earlier application he filed had been refused.

Justice Nyako noted that the only option opened to Kanu was to go to the Court of Appeal to challenge the earlier refusal.

She, however, ordered an accelerated hearing in the matter.

But a displeased Kanu pleaded with the judge to send him to Kuje as the DSS custody was no longer conducive for him.

He said, “People will come to see me they will not allow them. They don’t have a medical facility. I have congestive heart failure; they are patching me up.

“My foot is swollen. I asked them to conduct surgery, but they said they couldn’t. There is a conspiracy to die in detention. I want to be transferred to Kuje. The law says I am entitled to that. How do I conduct a trial when I am not allowed access to my lawyers? My lord, how can I conduct a defence when my lawyers are not allowed to write? They brought a nonsense statement to me, something I did not say. “

Responding, the judge said she had no confidence in keeping him in Kuje.

Nyako said, “The law says I can keep you anywhere I think it is safe for you.

If I make an order and it is not adhered to, you come back to me.

“I have over 15 terrorists that escaped from there. I don’t have confidence in Kuje prison.”

Counsel for the defendant, Alloy Ejimakor, insisted that the DSS custody was no longer safe for Kanu.

He said, “The DSS is no longer a safe place. It is a glorified prison.”

On his part, the counsel for the FG, Adegboyega Awolomo, (SAN), denied disobeying the order of the court on Kanu’s outfit.

He argued that there was nowhere in the world anyone charged with terrorism was granted bail.

He said, “Concerning the cloth, the ones they brought were not following your order, my lord. “

Kanu passionately appealed to the court to order that he should be placed on house arrest.

He said, “My lord, since you don’t want me to go to Kuje, order that I should be placed on house arrest. That is done everywhere in the world. I want to adequately plan for my defence, I will defeat them in this same court. Where are the treason felony charges against me? They don’t have any evidence against me. From where did the terrorism charges come from? “

Nyako urged him to put his request into an application, adding that her court is a court of record.

She subsequently adjourned the matter till April 17 for a hearing.

Immediately after the court rose, Kanu distanced himself from the violence in the southeastern part of the country.

He vowed that those behind the violence in the name of being an IPOB member would not be spared.

Kanu noted that the violence persisted because he was being held in the custody of DSS, vowing that if released, there would be peace in the entire Southeast.

He said, “Anybody committing the crime cannot go free. I swear. Anybody committing crime in the East cannot go free. They are doing it because I am in the DSS ( custody). If I were to be outside, nobody could try this. I suspect that some people in government are complicit. They are making money with the insecurity.

“They know if Nnamdi Kanu is outside, in two minutes this nonsense will stop. Who is the bagger or idiot that will speak when I am talking? Or who is the idiot that I will give an order and will counter it? Nobody can. I am Nnamdi Kanu. Rubbish!

“Anybody involved in any form of violence in the East in the name of IPOB is a goner and they know it. Let me come out of this mess, only two minutes there will be peace in the East. “

It was reports that Kanu had been standing trial on charges bordering on terrorism and treasonable felony since 2015.

He was earlier granted bail on health grounds on April 25, 2017, after spending 18 months in detention but he fled the country after an invasion of his residence by the military in September 2017.

 

Credit: Punch

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