Nnamdi Kanu knows fate in fresh bail battle, house arrest demand today

Nnamdi Kanu

The detained leader of the Biafra nation agitators, Nnamdi Kanu will today, Monday, at the Federal High Court in Abuja know his fate in his fresh request for restoration of his revoked bail and the removal from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to a house arrest or prison custody.

Justice Binta Fatimat Nyako will in the afternoon decide the fate of Kanu in a ruling billed to be delivered in respect of the request.

The court had fixed today, May 27, shortly after taking arguments from Kanu‘s legal team led by Aloy Ejimakor and that of the federal government, represented by Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN).

Kanu, who has been in detention since 2021, in his motion argued by Ejimakor, requested Justice Nyako to restore the bail granted him in 2017 by the same judge.

He told the court that contrary to the claim of the federal government, he did not jump bail or breach any of the conditions of the bail but had to escape out of the country for safety when the military allegedly invaded his house.

He told the court that he would have been killed if he had not escaped the way he did and accused the federal government of misleading the court in getting the bail revoked in his absence.

He also asked the court to set aside the arrest warrant issued against him by the court while he was out of the country.

In another motion, also argued by his legal team, Kanu requested the Judge to order his removal from the custody of the DSS and place him under house arrest or remand him in prison.

Besides, he asked that his lawyers must be allowed unhindered access to him to enable him prepare for his defence in the terrorism charges against him, adding that until those conditions were met by the Federal Government in line with Section 36 of the 1999 constitution, he would not submit himself for trial.

However, the federal government’s legal team, led by Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, opposed granting of all the requests made by Kanu.

The senior lawyer said in criminal matters, no defendant has the right to dictate to the court how his prosecution would be conducted.

Awomolo told the court that Kanu was once admitted to bail but breached the bail by escaping out of the country under false claims.

The senior lawyer argued that the fresh request for bail by Kanu is a gross abuse of court process, having been rejected earlier by the same court, adding that the only option open to the defendant was to go to the Court of Appeal to challenge the rejection since the High Court cannot overrule itself.

On the request for removal from DSS custody, Awomolo said that the only safe and secure environment for Kanu remained the DSS custody in the interest of the safety of his life.

He urged the court to dismiss the allegation of hindered access to lawyers by Kanu, adding that in his application and the supporting affidavit, Kanu did not name any DSS operative hindering lawyers from accessing him or eavesdropping during conversation with lawyers.

Meanwhile, the Igbos in diaspora have reaffirmed their appeal for justice, equity and fair-play in the trial brought against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Kanu, by the federal government.

The group pleaded with Justice Nyako not to tilt in favour of the federal government in the trial but to uphold fairness and the sanctity of the judiciary in resolving the matter.

In an open letter to the judge, the Igbos in diaspora operating under the aegis of the American Veterans of Igbo Descent (AVID), asked Justice Nyako to follow the dictates of Nigeria’s Constitution and relevant laws to do justice and free Kanu from the charges.

In the letter signed by Dr Sylvester Onyia, and Godson Obiagwu, the AVID President, and the Secretary respectively, they urged the Judge to consider the admonitions of the Supreme Court that the bail earlier granted him ought not to have been revoked.