Biafra: Kanu is freedom fighter –Lawyer



Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday, told Federal High Court in  Abuja he is not a coup planner, but, a freedom fighter.
Kanu is being prosecuted alongside three other pro-Biafra agitators, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi on charges bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism.
Speaking before Justice Binta Nyako, through his counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu said he committed no crime by advocating self-determination for Igbo.
He said the Biafra agitation predated the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, and that it was laughable he was accused of treason when all he did was ask for an independent state for the Igbo.
He urged the court to quash the charges against him.
“The fact that Justice Adeniyi Ademola decided that there was no incriminating evidence against the first defendant, he ordered his release but, this was blatantly refused.
“He’s a freedom fighter unlike people who overthrew a legitimate government in 1983.
“The court has no option but to discharge the charges. The court should trash the charges,” Ejiofor said
But Shuaibu Labaran, counsel to the Federal Government and the prosecution, urged the court to dismiss Kanu’s  application.
He insisted Kanu’s application to quash the charges against him lacked substance.
Meanwhile, his trial has been shifted to February 10, 2017, when the court will take a decision on his motion seeking to quash the charges brought against him by the Federal Government.
Kanu’s trial was suspended on December 13, 2016, following a rowdy session created by him and other defendants.
The abrupt adjournment, yesterday, came as the court, presided over by Justice Nyako, made an alternative arrangement for family members and relatives of the detained Biafra agitator.
In the new arrangement, family members and relatives of the defendants were asked by security operatives to queue up before they could be allowed into the court premises, where they could be identified by Prince Kanu, IPOB leader’s brother.
Meanwhile, security operatives at the court initially prevented journalists from entering the courtroom to witness the secret trial of Kanu.
The security operatives, who had vowed to ensure tight security at the venue of the trial, said they needed to get instructions first before allowing journalists into the venue.
The operatives had, on Tuesday, compiled a list of journalists which they claimed would be used in allowing reporters into the court for yesterday’s session.
However, the list was ignored as few journalists were later allowed entry while majority of reporters were prevented.
The operatives told the other reporters that they would await further instructions before allowing the journalists into the court. That instruction was being awaited at the time of this report.
In addition, Justice Nyako had ordered that at least four family members of each defendant be allowed access into the court. She also warned security operatives not to bring the accused persons into the courtroom in handcuffs.
Kanu had, through his counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor urged the court to quash all the charges preferred against him by the Federal Government in an amended charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/383/15.
The Biafra leader is being prosecuted alongside three other pro-Biafra agitators, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi on charges bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism.
Ejiofor told the court in his argument that the proof of evidence attached to the charge has no items constituting the basic ingredients of the offences for which Kanu was charged.
According to him, the proof of evidence filed by the prosecution does not disclose any prima facie case against Kanu and added that the six count-charge relating to the 1st defendant (Kanu) was in-competent.
The prosecution counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, in his objection to Kanu’s motion seeking the quashing of charges against him urged Justice Nyako to refuse the request, which he said, if granted would be prejudicial to the cause of justice.
Labaran argued that the charge against the first defendant like the other defendants in the case was competent, clear and unambiguous and that the proof of evidence attached to the charge clearly linked the first defendant with the charge brought against him.

Biafra: Kanu is freedom fighter –Lawyer Biafra: Kanu is freedom fighter –Lawyer Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Friday, January 13, 2017 Rating: 5

No comments: