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Court Sets March 19 for Ruling on Nnamdi Kanu’s Bail Request

Nnamdi Kanu
Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB Leader

The Federal High Court in Abuja has scheduled March 19, 2024, as the date for ruling on the fresh bail application filed by Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

This announcement follows the resumption of Kanu’s trial on Monday, with Justice Binta Nyanko fixing March 20 for the commencement of the trial.

The trial, which was previously suspended after the Court of Appeal acquitted Kanu in October 2022, resumed following a Supreme Court judgment on December 15, 2023.

The appeals court not only deemed the transfer of Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria as illegal and unlawful but also nullified all terrorism charges levied against him by the Federal Government. Despite this, the Federal Government appealed against the ruling, taking the matter to the Supreme Court.

The apex court ordered the continuation of Kanu’s trial on terrorism charges, stating that no law prohibits a trial based on the violation of a suspect’s rights.

The political activist and leader has, since June 2021, been in the Department of State Security, DSS, and detention. An argument for bail on health grounds was brought up during Monday’s proceedings. Kanu has been reported to have a heart condition.

His defence counsel, Alloy Ejimakor, highlighted concerns about Kanu’s health and the impact of continued incarceration on his defence. The bail request was based on provisions of the Nigerian constitution that give a defendant the right to adequate time and resources to prepare for his defence.

The prosecuting lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, representing the Nigerian government, opposed Ejimakor and told the trial judge to dismiss Nnamdi Kanu’s bail request. His presence in court marks the first instance of an external prosecutor leading the government’s team since the case began in 2015.

Notably, Mr. Awomolo pledged to bring along prosecution witnesses against Kanu on the specified date.

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