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Court strikes out new charges against Kanu

By Ameh Ochojila, Ernest Nzor (Abuja) and Collins Osuji, Owerri
19 May 2022   |   3:21 am
The Federal High Court Abuja has struck out amended six-count charges preferred against the detained Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, by the Federal Government...

Only European judge can give IPOB, Kanu justice, says HURIWA
• Nyako’s judgment overruling Kanu’s bail application, is sad, and unfair, CUPP insists

The Federal High Court Abuja has struck out amended six-count charges preferred against the detained Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, by the Federal Government (FG), following the withdrawal of its charges.

The withdrawal came after Kanu’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome, complained to the court that the prosecution is trying to delay processes by continuous amendment of the charges against his client.

Ozekhome told the court that this is the seventh time the government is amending its charges.

Justice Binta Nyako agreed with Ozekhome’s submission, stating that Kanu is not expected to take a plea on those newly amended charges immediately, as he needs time to digest them before doing so.

MEANWHILE, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, said that only a European born judge, with a special waiver, can entertain the case instituted by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration against the IPOB leader.

The rights group appeals to all the groups in the South East to end the campaign of violence in the region, which is causing a lot of bloodshed and destruction of critical infrastructure built with public funds for the benefit of the people of Igbo land.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, noted that the current administration has committed huge funds and human resources, including alleged bribery of foreign governments and organisations to adopt adversarial positions against Kanu and IPOB.

He said: “Locally, the government has succeeded in using divide and rule tactics to brainwash the hoipolloi in the North to perceive IPOB or Ndigbo as enemies of the Fulani, so it will take either a European judge or an unusual judicial miracle for Kanu to obtain fair hearing as provided for in a plethora of constitutional provisions because for President Buhari and his allies, Kanu and IPOB are guilty until they prove themselves to the contrary.

SIMILARLY, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has described the judgment delivered by Justice Nyako, refusing the bail application filed by counsel to the leader of IPOB, as sad, unfair, and a lost opportunity to find a solution to issues of agitation in the South East.

Nyako, in her ruling yesterday, had held that she would not grant bail to Kanu, who is standing trial over treasonable felony charges brought against him by the government, because of the circumstances of his jumping bail when he was first granted bail were unclear.

Speaking to newsmen in Owerri, yesterday, the CUPP Spokesperson, Ikenga Ikeagwuonu, said the judge failed to understand the circumstances under which Kanu fled the country.

He added that it was equally ridiculous that the government could file additional charges against Kanu and even added the same charges against his lawyers.

Ikeagwuonu, who is also aspiring for a seat in the House of Representatives for Ideato North and South Federal Constituency, blamed the continued detention of Kanu on the inability of President Buhari to exercise his constitutional power over the issue.