A Federal High Court in Abuja, Tuesday, granted the prayer of the prosecution to separate the trial of leader of the now proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Prince Nnamdi Kanu and three other co-accused.
Kanu, and his co-accused, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, are currently facing an amended 11-count charge slammed against them by the federal government.
The charges range from treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms.
When the case resumed Monday the prosecution counsel, Shaibu Labaran, told the court that in view of the fact that the whereabouts of the first defendant (Kanu) has remained unknown, it was imperative that Kanu’s trial be severed from the others to enable the matter proceed.
“The absence of first defendant have been granted bail since April last year, and presently we don’t where he is because he has jumped bail thereby stalling the case. The prosecution shall therefore be requesting to separate the charge of Kanu from the others so that progress can be made in the matter,” Labaran pleaded.
Counsel to the defendants did not object to the separation of trial.
In a bench ruling, Justice Binta Nyako, agreed with the prosecution, noting that since April last year no progress has been made in the case because of Kanu absence in court thereby stalling the case.
“In view of this fact, I subsequently separate the the trial of the other defendants,” the Judge ruled.
Labaran, thereafter requested for a short adjournment to enable the prosecution team to prepare amended charge to be filed and served on the defendants for fresh plea to be taken from the defendants.
The court consequently adjourned till March 20 for the amended charge to be heard.