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Breaking: Nnamdi Kanu: Bail Application Denied, Adjourned till Dec. 13 13


The fresh bail application brought by the detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has been dismissed by a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday.
Justice Binta Nyako, ruling on the application filed by Kanu and three others, held that some of the charges the accused are facing were not bailable offences.
According to Nyako, the offences are very serious in nature and therefore “not ordinarily bailable offences”
“Irrespective of what the charge is, the court has to exercise its discretion on way or the other”, to grant the bail application, the Judge held, adding that some of the charges against the defendants could attract life imprisonment.
Kanu who was denied bad earlier by Justice John Tsoho, was re-arraigned afresh November 17.
Nyako held that she had no reason to “deviate” from the earlier “findings” of Justice Tsoho.
Justice Nyako also dismissed the contention by the defendants that President Muhammadu Buhari had openly directed that they should not be released on bail.
The Judge held that President Buhari, being a citizen of Nigeria, was at liberty to exercise his freedom of speech.
She maintained that the President lacks the capacity to influence the decision of the court, saying the defendants did not place any new fact or law capable of persuading the court to reverse an earlier ruling of the court that denied them bail.
“The offences are serious in nature and carries very severe punishment if proven.
“I hereby therefore refuse bail of the applicants. But in the alternative, I hereby order accelerated trial of this matter to almost commence immediately, but not later than two months”, the Judge held.
Immediately after the ruling was delivered the Federal Government applied for all the witnesses to be allowed to testify behind screen.
It also prayed the court for identities of the witnesses not to be revealed in any record of the proceeding.
The defendants however opposed the application, contending that granting such request would amount to a gross violation of their rights to fair hearing.
“We vehemently oppose secret trial of the defendants. They were accused in the open, we also request that they be tried in the open.
“The defendants need to see those testifying against them eye-ball-to-eye-ball. We are ready for this trial”, Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor submitted.
Similarly, one of the defence lawyers, Maxwell Okpara, told the court that most of the proposed witnesses were foreigners.
He said the government has imported foreigners from neighbouring countries to testify against his client.
“My lord, we have uncovered their plan to bring Ghanaians and people from Cameroon to appear in this court to testify against the defendants.
“We as Nigerians will resist that plot. It cannot work. That is why they are insisting that they should testify behind screen. That plot has failed, it will not work”, Okpara stated.
After listening to all the parties Justice Nyako fixed December 13 to rule on government’s application.
The Federal Government had in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, alleged that the quartet conspired to commit treasonable felony contrary to and punishable under section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2014.
The defendants, including the National Coordinator of IPOB member, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, are facing 11 counts charge, including treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods.
Onwudiwe was specifically accused in one of the counts of an act preparatory to an act of terrorism.

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