Nnamdi Kanu Labels FG Lawyer ‘Terrorist’ Following Bail Plea Denial

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On Monday, Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), sparked turmoil at the Federal High Court in Abuja when his bail request was denied. Detained on charges of treasonable felony, Kanu had sought bail or a transfer from the Department of State Services (DSS) custody to prison, or alternatively, house arrest. Presiding Judge Binta Nyako, however, rejected his plea.

Judge Nyako stated that the only option available to Kanu was to take the matter to the appellate court. She ordered the DSS to grant Kanu access to his lawyers, not exceeding five people on visiting days, and to ensure he has a “clean place” for consultations at the DSS detention facility and access to a doctor of his choice. Nyako warned Kanu’s legal team against filing similar applications, labeling it a gross abuse of the judicial process.

Kanu reacted strongly, accusing the federal government of violating the constitution and international treaties following his forceful rendition to Nigeria. “My lord, you said in your earlier ruling that you will not grant me bail until you make a determination about the reason for my disappearance. But you have not done so,” Kanu said, expressing his frustration.

He angrily continued, “At this stage, I am of the opinion that you can’t try me without first looking into that. The criminals came to my house to kill me! I don’t understand why my trial must be conducted contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is the law of Nigeria as of today. This court is in violation of the laws of Nigeria. Section 2(3)(f) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, is very clear.”

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Prosecution counsel Gboyega Awomolo, interjected, asking Kanu’s legal team to caution him. In response to Awomolo, Kanu called him a “terrorist” for conducting a trial he deemed in violation of international treaties.

“Once a treaty is entered into and signed, it becomes a law. They are all terrorists! No court can try me in Nigeria. Anything done in violation of any treaty entered into by Nigeria is an act of terrorism,” Kanu asserted.

He added, “This man here is a terrorist as at today. He is a dishonest man! You are a terrorist! Who the hell are you? Follow what the law says. I have been in detention for over three years. You are the Chairman of the Body of Benchers and you are violating the laws of this country.”

However, Awomolo, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), remained calm, stating, “I am not a terrorist and I am not provoked by the action of the defendant. It is understandable. He is only being emotional.”

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In a previous ruling on Kanu’s request, Judge Nyako found that Kanu had jumped bail earlier granted to him when he fled the country. The judge noted that the sureties who stood for him had applied to be discharged, not knowing his whereabouts.

Nyako reiterated that Kanu’s only recourse was to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The courtroom was adjourned until June 19 and 20 for continuation of the case. Kanu’s counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, and others will prepare for the next steps in what remains a highly contentious legal battle.

Melissa Enoch

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