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Nnamdi Kanu FG asks court to imprison IPOB leader

The government is seeking to put the IPOB leader back in prison for violating his bail conditions.

  • Published:
Nnamdi Kanu play

Nnamdi Kanu

(The News Chronicles)

The Federal Government has petitioned an Abuja Federal High Court to haul the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, back to prison for violating his bail conditions.

This is a counter-motion to Kanu's motion to the court seeking a review of his bail conditions.

In the motion dated August 1, 2017, Magaji Labaran of the Federal Ministry of Justice urged the court to revoke Kanu's bail that was granted on April 25.

Kanu is standing trial for charges of conspiracy and treasonable felony before Justice Binta Nyako's Abuja Federal High Court.

He was picked up in 2015 by the Department of State Services (DSS) after making inflammatory statements that divided opinions.

While his bail conditions forbade him from granting media interviews, or being seen in a group of more than 10 people, the IPOB leader has flouted those conditions several times.

ALSO READ: Arewa youths demand Nnamdi Kanu's arrest in Abuja protest

In the motion, the government argued that the IPOB leader has done more than just violate the conditions of his bail, but also engaged in acts that have threatened public peace.

IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu waves at Biafran protesters in front of his Umuahia home on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 play

IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu waves at Biafran protesters in front of his Umuahia home on Wednesday, June 28, 2017

(@Chxta (Twitter))

 

This was a reference to Kanu's public declaration that there would be no elections conducted in the South Eastern states until a referendum about a secessionist Republic of Biafra has been had.

Labaran argued, "The offence for which he (Kanu) is standing trial is not ordinarily bailable; the court, not withstanding, granted bail to the 1st defendant/applicant (Kanu) on health grounds on 25th April 2017.

"Among other conditions for the bail of the 1st defendant is that he should not be seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people; that he should not grant any interviews, hold or attend any rallies; that he should file, in court, medical updates of his health status every month. The bail conditions were perfected by the 1st defendant/applicant, which he is currently enjoying.

"Rather than observing all the conditions listed above, the 1st defendant, in flagrant disobedience to the court order, flouted all conditions given by the court.

"The 1st defendant equally incited his members to disrupt, disallow and boycott elections in South East states, starting with Anambra State gubernatorial election scheduled for November 18 if the Federal Government failed to hold referendum for the realisation of the state of Biafra.

"The 1st defendant has already declared the bail conditions given by the court unconstitutional before approaching this court with the application for variation.

"Rather than showing remorse for his actions, the 1st defendant approached this court with an application for a review of the same conditions for the bail which he grossly flouted.

"Considering the above, that the 1st applicant has violated the conditions on which the terms of his bail were premised, we urged this court to commit the defendant to prison by invoking the provision of Section 173(2)(B) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

"We categorically state that justice would have been denied the state by this court, if the state is not protected from the offences being perpetrated by the 1st defendant/applicant, who is currently on bail."

ALSO READ: Nnamdi Kanu: Dear Nigerian media, you are normalising danger

He is being tried alongside three others: David Nwawuisi, Benjamin Madubugwu and Chidiebere Onwudiwe.

His lead counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, argued that the FG is flouting the court's order to not file any form of interlocutory application pending the commencement of the  trial.

Ejiofor said the government is "in clear breach and violation of an order the court made on April 25, 2017, wherein his Lordship warned, that the court will not entertain further interlocutory application or process capable of delaying the trial".

This was in reaction to the prosecution's addition of Bright Chimezie as a fifth defendant after he had been cleared for release from custody by a Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

Kanu is seeking to dismiss the charges against him for gross incompetence and "want of diligent prosecution".

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