All hopes to seek the bail of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, were dashed on Monday when his trial resumed at the Federal High Court Abuja without the IPOB leader in court.
Justice Binta Nyako, therefore, stated that the trial could not continue in the absence of Kanu since he was not available to stand his trial.
The judge also did not attend to the prayer of Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, that the court should grant a pending application before it to transfer Kanu from the custody of the Department of State Services to a correctional centre in Abuja.
Justice Nyako subsequently adjourned the trial of Kanu to October 21, 2021, for continuation of hearing.
Many Nigerians have since taken to social media to protest the order of the judge, saying by implication, Kanu would remain in DSS custody for three more months. Others also flayed the secret police for not producing Kanu in court today.
Wale Sowemimo on Facebook wrote, “Three months adjournment! This is obviously the tactics used in dealing with El Zakzaky! The trial will drag endlessly and Nnamdi Kanu will be kept out of circulation! Justice delayed is not justice denied in as much Nigeria is involved!”
Eke Chibuike stated, “You see why he (Kanu) ran for his life? When he was here, they wanted to kill him and he escaped for his life, but now in their custody, they prevented or failed to bring him to court. What a nation!”
Okei Agbai also noted, “Justice Binta Nyako took the wrong decision by adjourning the case till October. She was supposed to adjourn it till the following day and even fine DSS for not bringing Kanu to court today for hearing on his case.”
“What a country! Kanu might be in detention till 2023. Trial of Kanu is scripted,” Tunde Sanyaolu exclaimed.
Meanwhile, some persons also took to social media to hail the decision of the court.
“Thanks to our DSS and thanks to all our security agencies, thanks to the President and Commander in Chief of the Arm Forces of Nigeria for treating him (Kanu) in the language he understands,” Ibrahim Kura stated.
On his part, Abubakar Bena said Kanu carried over “some elective language courses from DSS Linguistics Department” and needed “another three months before his core courses in prison”.
Many IPOB supporters also dared security operatives on Monday as they bombarded the court before the sitting in solidarity with Kanu.
Some media houses were barred from covering the sitting while Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore, and others were arrested on the court premises today.
The PUNCH had on June 29, 2021 reported that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), at a press briefing in Abuja, announced that the IPOB leader was arrested at a foreign country and extradited to Nigeria.
Kanu, who was born on September 25, 1967, is a holder of Nigerian and British passports. He had earlier jumped bail in June 2018 before leaving for the United Kingdom though he told the court that he fled because his life was no longer safe in Nigeria.
Upon his re-arrest and extradition in June 2021, he was re-arraigned before Justice Nyako for terrorism-related charges and has since been remanded in DSS custody.
The British Government subsequently expressed readiness to provide “consular assistance” for Kanu but needed him to assent to the assistance by signing some forms.
However, a member of Kanu’s legal team, Aloy Ejimakor, who took the forms to Kanu in DSS custody of recent, said the secret police stopped Kanu from signing the consular assistance forms by the United Kingdom.
The development sparked reactions as to the legality and otherwise of the Nigerian government to bar Kanu from seeking consular assistance from the UK.