Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday, adjourned indefinitely, hearing on the amended 7-count charges the Federal government filed against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB),Nnamdi Kanu.
Court of Appeal had earlier quashed the 15-count charge Federal Government preferred against Kanu and discharged him. Rather than release Kanu from the Department of State Service, (DSS), where he was being detained, the federal government headed to court again.
At the court today, team of government prosecutors led by the Director of Public Prosecution, M.B. Abubakar, told trial Justice Binta Nyako that the IPOB leader, declined to be brought before the court for trial .
Justice Nyako had after the case was called up, enquired about the defendant.
“My lord, I understand that the defendant declined to come to court today.
“As at last week, the defendant was intimated of this sitting and he did not object. However, when I called the office this morning, I was informed that the defendant woke up and declined to come to court.
“All entreaties and pleas were made but he refused to come to court”, government lawyer told the court.
Meanwhile, leader of Kanu’s defence team, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, told the court that Federal Government’s allegation was strange to him.
“My lord, this is totally strange to me because this is a person that has never hidden his intention to always be in court. In fact, even in processes we filed at both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, the defendant said he would want to be present in court for hearing of all the matters”, Ozekhome, SAN, said.
He notified the trial judge about the judgement of the Court of Appeal that quashed the 15-count charge Federal Government preferred against his client and discharged him of all the allegations.
Ozekhome contended that since Federal Government has gone to the Supreme Court to set aside the judgement and his client also challenging the order that stayed the execution of the verdict, it was better for the matter to be adjourned sine-die (indefinitely).
He told the court that his client was not served with the amended charge.”We have not even been served with this charge, we only read about it on the social media. It was this morning that we discovered that it has been listed on the cause list and I thought that my learned friend will stand up and say that in view of the subsisting Appeal Court judgement, that he is withdrawing it.
“We are surprised because this is an abuse of court process”, Ozekhome stated.
On his part, the Director of Public Prosecution, M. Abubakar, said he was not opposed to an adjournment to enable the Supreme Court to determine the appeals pending before it. Trial Judge, Justice Nyako adjourned the case indefinitely.