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Why court rejected Kanu’s fresh bail application

By Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
29 June 2022   |   3:37 am
The Federal High Court, Abuja, has dismissed a fresh bail application filed by the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, for constituting an abuse of court process.

Nnamdi Kanu

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has dismissed a fresh bail application filed by the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, for constituting an abuse of court process.

This is the second time the court would be rejecting the bail request by Kanu, who is facing seven counts on terrorism.

Kanu had, through his lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, sought to be released on bail, pending the determination of the charges the Federal Government preferred against him.

He had equally urged the court to set aside its earlier order on March 28, 2019, for the revocation of his bail, as well as an order for his warrant of arrest.

Justice Binta Nyako had, in that ruling, directed that the trial of the defendant should proceed in his absence. But in his fresh application, the IPOB leader, who denied jumping bail, argued that he only fled the country when his life was under threat, occasioned by the military invasion of his hometown at Afaraukwu, Ibekwu, Umuahia, in Abia State.

He told the court that the military invasion resulted in the death of 28 persons. Kanu further argued that the order of the court was made in breach of the fundamental rule of natural justice, attached photographic exhibits to prove his case.

In her ruling, Justice Nyako, while conceding that upon being presented with facts, held that a court has the power to set aside its earlier order, noting that the defendant in the present application did not offer any justifiable reason to warrant the setting aside of the order.

On the issue of denial of fair hearing, the judge held: “From the record of the court, the applicant was represented in court by his counsel and also his surety, who told the court that he did not know his whereabouts. So, he was given fair hearing.”

She added: “From when the defendant was granted bail to the time he stopped coming to court, the case suffered 15 adjournments before his bail was revoked.

“This application was filed after four years of his absence in court and by the Administration of Criminal Justice Acts (ACJA), 2015, which allows court to proceed with the trial of the defendant after two adjournments.

The current application amounts to an abuse of court process for attempting to relitigate an issue already decided by the court.”