A Federal High Court, Abuja, Tuesday, refused the application by the Federal Government to masquerade witnesses in the trail of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu and others are standing trial on 11 count chsrge bordering on treasonable felony, conspiracy among others.
The trial Judge, Justice Binta Nyako however ruled that there would be a special screening of witnesses who will only be seen by members of the bench and the defendants outside the general public. “The members of the court will be allowed to sit but they will not be allowed to see the witnesses” Nyako added.
Justice Nyako further stated that the court would be partitioned with a screen to obstruct the public from seeing the witnesses.
Reacting to the ruling, the defendants who perceived an indirect secret trial tried to object the position of the court.
Amidst the court proceeding, many Biafrans were seen on special white attires that are common among Israeli priesthoof which bothers on Judaism.
They caused commotion outside the courtroom, by chanting we don’t want secret trial.
One of them attempted to grab the prison warden but was prevented by operatives of the Department of State Security.
The Federal Government on November 8, re-arraigned Kanu and three others. They appeared before a third judge, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court on an 11-count charge bordering on treasonable felony, illegal possession of firearms as well as terrorism.
Nyako is the third judge to hear Kanu’s case as he had earlier accused two others: Justices Adeniyi Ademola and John Tsoho, of bias.
In the amended charges dated November 7 and filed by a Director of Public Prosecutions, Mohammed Umar, the Federal Government added five fresh ones to the previous six.
Also included among those charged for the first time was one David Nwawusi. The two others – Onwudiwe Chidiebere and Benjamin Madubugwu – had been on trial alongside Kanu in the earlier six-count charge.
Kanu’s counsel, Chuks Muoma, has asked the court for bail.
Although Kanu had during the previous arraignment applied for bail on the fact that he was appearing before a new judge, a fresh application was filed.
It would be recalled that Kanu, alongside Onwudiwe Chidiebere and Benjamin Madubugwu, were first arraigned before Justice Shuaibu Usman of a Magistrate’s Court in Wuse Zone 2, who dismissed the case following a motion by the prosecutor, the Department of State Services (DSS), that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
At the Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Ademola, who was assigned the case had to step aside following accusation by the defendants that they may not get fair-hearing.
Tsoho, who was to take over hearing, also had to hands off and the case file was returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment after he was also petitioned for bias.
The case was further adjourned till January 10,11,and 12 for u continuation of trial