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IPOB: Court Orders For Nnamdi Kanu’s Arrest, Directs Trial To Proceed In His Absence

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                                                                    Nnamdi Kanu

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday ordered the arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, and directed that his trial on charges of treasonable felony should proceed in his absence.

The judge, Justice Binta Nyako, whose decision was anchored on the provisions of Section 352(4) of the Administrative of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, said Kanu had failed to appear in court since April 25, 2017 without any reasonable explanation.

The lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Magaji Labaran, applied for the court’s orders earlier in the Thursday’s proceedings.

Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had opposed Labaran’s oral application, and had asked to be given more time to explain why his client had not been in court by filing all necessary papers.

He insisted that Kanu’s disappearance was as a result of soldiers’ invasion of the IPOB leader’s home in Afara-Ukwu near Umuahia, Abia State, during military’s ‘Operation Python Dance II’ staged to quell agitation for a Republic of Biafra.

But the judge, noting that she had, in a judgment on a civil suit filed by Kanu, held that there was no nexus between the said military invasion and the IPOB leader’s disappearance, overruled the objection, insisting that the request for explanation of the defendant’s absence in court was belated.

The judge, who also noted that Kanu had violated the conditions and terms of the bail granted him, recalled that after the defendant was granted bail on April 17, 2017, the following proceedings of July 11, 2017 could not hold due to the court’s vacation.

She also recalled that on October 17, 2017 Kanu also failed to appear in court with his lawyer, who claimed that the defendant’s absence from court was caused by the invasion of his home in Abia State by soldiers.

The judge also noted that the three persons who had guaranteed his bail had applied to the court to withdraw their suretyship because they could not account for his whereabouts.

She noted that on March 28, 2018, Kanu’s trial was separated from that of his four other co-defendants in order to avoid delays of the other persons’ trial.

She added that on November 14, 2018, she ordered that the sureties should temporarily forfeit their N100m bail bonds or produce Kanu in court.

The judge added that, since the time Kanu’s trial was separated from that of others, there were four court sessions that held and were adjourned without Kanu attending any.

“Proceedings must end one way or the other,” Justice Nyako said.

She added, “I have given the counsel for the defendant more than enough time to produce him in court. Therefore, by virtue of Section 252(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the only option open to do is to order that the trial will continue in his absence.

“Also, in the absence of any reasonable explanation for his absence, I hereby revoke his bail and order that a bench warrant be issued for his arrest.”

She fixed June 18 for trial to commence with or without Kanu’s presence in court.

Since last year, Kanu has been seen making appearances online; and was, at a time, said to be on a religious pilgrimage to Israel.

Kanu’s lawyer, Ejiofor, has vowed to appeal the court’s ruling for his client’s arrest and trial in absentia.   (Punch)

 

 

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Uzor Kalu To IPOB: Remember My Help In The Past And Mind Your Words|RN

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Former Governor Of Abia State, CEO Slok Holdings  Orji Uzor Kalu

The former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has said the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, holds a false opinion about him and advised them not to take a duty of misreading him at every comment.

In his reaction to an IPOB statement on a trending news regarding an interview he granted, Kalu reminded IPOB and the members how he had in the past helped the interest of IPOB and the members.

Notwithstanding their grouse on the issue,  Kalu recalled that during Nnamdi Kanu’s long detention,  he was the first Igbo leader to pay him a visit in Kuje and also facilitated the release of the members in the past and also intervened in their interest with the authorities.

He spoke in response to statements from the Publicity Secretary of the IPOB, Emma Powerful and lawyer to the IPOB leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, on their reaction to a press interview he granted.

He said this is not the first time he was misunderstood, ” I believe everyone has right priorities and knows what really matters. For instance, our Igbo brothers are safe in the North and our minds are settled over their property, and that’s what matters. Dancing to the beats of a popular drum isn’t top of my list. These boys hurling abuses and insults on everyone that stands against division are simply ignorant. I forgive them.” Kalu stated

IPOB’s statement on Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts was an offshoot of an interview he granted to a reporter. He referred to it as pathetic that most Nigerians are interested in sensational headlines and care less about details.

He added that Biafra agitation is an issue that concerns a lot of people and keeping silent in the face of its dangerous consequence would amount to wickedness and disregard for the safety of lives of the Igbo people.

The former governor accused the group of running the interest of some politicians and despising good counsel. He described it as laughable when people try to link his actions with corruption charges levelled against him since 2007.

According to Kalu,  Nigerians knew him before the charges and the genesis of the allegations and how it was targeted to destroy him politically. He, however, said the case being in a court of competent jurisdiction has proscribed him from making further statements on it.

“I had wished the IPOB were more civil to monitor their utterances, and not take up a duty of attacking my personality and leaving the issue I raised.”

He said the group’s activities should be carried out with civility and respect adding that the lives of Igbo people are the priority.

Kalu advised IPOB not to forget their lines so quick and disclosed that through his intervention in the past, many detained IPOB members were bailed.

“I wonder how IPOB easily forgot their lines. They have had many of their detained members bailed through my intervention. “Would it be appropriate for even somebody like Emma Powerful to heap unprintable insults and accusations on me? I bailed him out when he was detained.

“When Nnamdi was in prison, I was the first to visit him, opening doors for others to do same. I did that because he is my brother. Although he showed a lot of appreciation during the visit he still maintained his ground on Biafra. For the sake of posterity, I have made my stand clear. In a restructured Nigeria, Igbo people would be better off. We got it wrong in 1967 and we need to get it right now, else we get it wrong again.” Kalu warned in the statement.  (The Sun)

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