UPDATE: Court sets January 18 for Nnamdi Kanu trial challenging jurisdiction
The Abuja Federal High Court will hear on January 18, 2022 a complaint filed by the leader of the proscribed indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, challenging his jurisdiction to preside over the case.
Judge Binta Nyako set the date on Thursday following a request for a reduction in time filed by the lawyer for IPOB leader Ifeanyi Ejiofor.
Judge Nyako had, at the last adjourned date, set January 19 and 20 for the continuation of Kanu’s trial.
Kanu’s team of lawyers staged a walkout following an allegation that State Service Department (DSS) agents refused to allow other lawyers, including his US attorney, Bruce Fein, to enter in the courtroom.
But Ejiofor had filed a motion asking that the time limit for hearing the trial be shortened and the motion was served on counsel for the federal government.
According to the lawyer, a trial of this nature requires a day-to-day hearing under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and the Federal High Court Practice Direction.
Nyako then set himself up on Thursday to hear the request.
When the case was called, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Shuaibu Labaran, revealed that the case had been adjourned until January 19 and 20, 2022, for the trial to continue on demand. of the defendant (Kanu).
âMonsignor, only two days ago, we received a call from the court registry, informing us that following a request for a reduction of time filed by the defendant, the hearing date of the said request has been set. today.
âMonsignor, we have considered the request and we have filed a counter-affidavit to this effect,â he said.
In response, Ejiofor said it was undisputed that the trial was adjourned until January 19.
He said the motions on the merits challenging the jurisdiction of the charges against Kanu and the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case had not been adjourned along with the trial.
âWe have a request for an abbreviation for today. In addition, we have an app that challenges the suitability of the costume, âhe said.
The judge, however, expressed concern as to why Ejiofor felt the earlier postponed date was too far away.
“But above all, I don’t know why you think I gave you such a long time ago.” Tomorrow (Friday), I have three judgments to render, on December 6, I attend a farewell session of my deceased colleague. On December 10, I will sit to render judgment. On December 13, the court is closed for the year, âshe said.
The judge explained that there was no date to settle the case.
The judge also told IPOB’s lawyer that today’s hearing was not scheduled to receive further requests.
Nyako, who noted that the request for a reduction of time could continue without the defendant (Kanu), however insisted that other requests challenging the jurisdiction of the prosecution could not be taken in the absence of the defendant. before the tribunal.
Ejiofor also urged the court to issue an order directing the federal government to keep Kanu in a convenient facility.
âHe’s kept in a very small place, he doesn’t eat well. He has been wearing only one item of clothing since his detention, âhe told the court.
The judge, who said the DSS custody was not a five-star hotel, said: âUnless I am provided with proof of what you are saying. “
She ordered the lawyer to file an affidavit of facts regarding her claim.
Ejiofor also urged the court to order the DSS to allow Kanu to practice his faith.
âOur client is Jewish, he is not allowed to practice his Jewish faith,â he said.
The judge then ordered the DSS to give Kanu as much comfort as possible, including changing his clothes and feeding him a good diet.
Judge Nyako, who adjourned the case until January 18, 2022, assured that all pending claims filed by Ejiofor would be taken into account on the adjourned date.