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Counsel decries trial process of IPOB leader

By Ernest Nzor, Ameh Ochojila (Abuja) and Silver Nwokoro (Lagos)
11 November 2021   |   4:01 am
One of the legal representatives of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, yesterday, said that they were dissatisfied with what is playing out in the trial process of Nnamdi Kanu.

Nnamdi Kanu

• Group condemns lawyer, journalists’ denial to courtroom
• HURIWA faults continued detention of chief agitator

One of the legal representatives of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, yesterday, said that they were dissatisfied with what is playing out in the trial process of Nnamdi Kanu.

Ejiofor, who spoke with journalists after the adjournment of the trial of Kanu, said the lawyers in his team were protesting because they were blocked from entering the court.

“We are dissatisfied with what is playing out. Conventionally, the court should not be part of this case but what is playing out now shows that the court is part of the scheme. I will say it unequivocally and that should be the end of this court participation in this matter.”

He said the walkout was in protest against obvious abnormalities and the court ought to have summoned them to explain rather than adjourning the matter.

Besides, he said the court order granting the counsel permission to visit Kanu in custody had been disobeyed by the Department of State Services (DSS).

SIMILARLY, a group, Access to Justice, has condemned the continuous denial of Kanu’s legal defence team access to courtroom, as well as journalists who were conducting their professional duties and exercising their constitutional rights to report the trial.

The group noted that the proceedings in the trial of Kanu were matters of considerably high public interest; hence it is the responsibility of the court to ensure that every aspect of that trial meets with internationally-accepted standards of a public and fair trial.

In a statement signed by its Convener, Joseph Otteh and Project Director, ‘Deji Ajare, the group said it is untenable and indefensible for the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC) to hand over control of physical access to Nnamdi Kanu’s trial courtroom to the DSS.

MEANWHILE, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the continuous detention of Kanu.
It asked members and supporters of IPOB to think deeply and work out other strategies on how to press for the speedy release of their leader.

HURIWA, in a statement yesterday in Abuja by its National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, demanded that Kanu be accorded all his constitutionally-guaranteed rights to fairness, total justice, equity and equality before the law.

It said that the contrived trial was essentially meant to provoke the Igbo youths so as to set the South-East of Nigeria on fire.

The group, therefore, appealed to the teeming supporters of Nnamdi Kanu to resist the generous and overwhelming temptation to destroy their homestead, which is the dream of those who planned and executed Kanu’s arrest and illegal detention.