The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on Monday adjourned the appeal brought before it by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, and his co-accused, David Nwawusi and Benjamin Madubugwu.
The case was postponed till May 5 because court reportedly failed to bring Kanu’s case file to court.
A three-man panel of Justices of the appellate court led by Justice Abdul Aboki adjourned the matter after it was discovered that it was not listed for hearing in the court’s cause list.
This, IPOB said was Deliberate, accusing the Federal Government, Department of State Security, judiciary of conspiracy to continue to detain the IPOB leader.
Following insistence by Kanu’s lawyer, Chief Chuks Muoma, SAN, that it was the appellate court itself that originally fixed April 25 to hear the matter, Justice Aboki, promised that the court would look into the matter on the next adjourned date.
Muoma expressed his disappointment over the whole issue.
The IPOB leader and his two co-defendants are being prosecuted on six counts of treasonable felony, unlawful possession of firearms and other crimes bordering on supposed agitation for secession of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria.
They had approached the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal asking for an order to compel the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to withdraw the case from Justice Tsoho and re-assign it to another Judge.
The defendants blamed Justice Tsoho for bias following the Judge’s ruling, which would permit prosecution witnesses to testify behind a ‘shield’ in order to hide the witnesses’ identities from the members of the public present in court.
Kanu, alongside two other pro-Biafra agitators, David Nwawusi and Benjamin Madubugwu, had gone before the appellate court to challenge what they termed “strange procedure” adopted in their trial.
Meanwhile, IPOB has accused the All Progressives Congress led Federal Government, Department of State Services,judiciary and Attorney General of Nigeria Federation of deliberately frustrating the trial of its leader, Kanu.
IPOB in a statement issued in Onitsha and signed by its Media and Publicity Officer, Emma Powerful also said the FG, Attorney General and the DSS, the Judiciary and Federal Court of Appeal have all ganged up to play hide and seek game with Mr Kanu’s trial, just to frustrate the case and continue incarcerating him for no justifiable reason, adding that the Judiciary in Nigeria has been caged by Buhari and it will spell doom for Nigeria.
The statement read, “The Nigerian Federal Government and its agents have deliberately refused to come to court for the case. They have refused to respect court orders and do not honour court date, and we are wondering why Mr. Kanu is still being held, since, they are not ready to continue the trial which will expose the emptiness of the present APC led Federal Government.
“We want to let the present government of Muhammadu Buhari to know that no amount of frustration will make Mr. Kanu to stop the struggle. The present Nigeria government, Attorney General of the Nigerian Federation and the Federal Court of Appeal Judges who have hand in the frustrating activities to continue the trial will be disgraced at the end of the day. No plan by the occupier of Aso Rock in sabotaging the efforts of our leader to excise his fundamental rights at the Federal Court of Appeal, Abuja will be successful.
“The hide and seek game of the APC led Federal Government, Attorney General of the Nigerian Federation and the DSS, through the Judiciary, the Federal Court of Appeal and their Judges who connived in the evil plan to frustrate Mr Kanu will fail. All their plans will come to naught and at the end. Mazi Kanu and IPOB will laugh last.”
Powerful said “Mr Kanu filed a suit challenging his illegal detention in Kuje prison and the court of appeal Judge fixed 25th April 2016 for hearing, only the Judge to disappear while the lawyers and masses were in the court waiting for him to come and preside over the matter assigned to him, that act is part of the plan to frustrate Mr. Kanu”
“IPOB worldwide regrets that the Judiciary is not free in Nigeria, and we will not hesitate to conclude that the judiciary is carrying out the order of their master in Aso Rock, not to attend to the court, because their master is not satisfied with the way his secret agents have not come up with the evidence to nail Mazi Kanu.
“It is however, a well known fact to the world that Mazi Kanu, the leader of IPOB did not commit any crime in Nigeria or the world at large. Nevertheless, we want to let the world know the mess the judiciary is into in Nigeria and how the present APC government is using the judiciary to delay the release of our leader.”