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The detained leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, will now have to face freshly amended seven counts of terrorism charges at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
This is coming after the Court of Appeal discharged Kanu of all the terrorism allegations, as well as appeals on the subject matter still pending before the Supreme Court.
The amended charges marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, were entered before the Federal High Court in Abuja, and contained all earlier sustained allegations against the IPOB leader.
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja has subsequently fixed next Monday for Kanu’s team of lawyers and the federal government’s prosecution team to address the court on whether the federal government could proceed to re-arraign the IPOB leader on the amended charges despite the October 13 judgment of the Court of Appeal that freed him.
The FG, in the amended charges, alleged that Kanu had issued a deadly threat via a broadcast, heard and received across the country, that anyone who disobeyed his sit-at-home order in the South-eastern states should write his or her will.
It also contended that the resulting effect of the broadcast had caused banks, schools, markets, shopping malls, fuel stations in the Eastern states of the country to shut down their business operations, affecting citizens and leading to grounding of vehicular movements.
The federal government further alleged that the IPOB leader had between 2018 and 2021, made inciting broadcasts, received and heard in Nigeria, instigating the public to hunt and kill Nigerian security personnel and their family members, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 1 (2) (h) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.
Furthermore, the FG alleged that Kanu had, between March and April 2015, imported into Nigeria and kept in Ubulisiuzor in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, a radio transmitter known as Tram 50L, concealed in a container of used household items, thereby, committing an offence contrary to section 47 (2) (a) of Criminal Code Act Cap, C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, adding that he also directed members of IPOB “to manufacture bombs.”
The Court of Appeal Abuja had last month granted the federal government’s application for stay of judgement discharging Kanu of terrorism.
A three-man panel of the appellate court agreed to stay the execution of its own judgement in deference to the appeal at the Supreme Court.
The appellate court had on October 13 discharged Kanu from the alleged terrorism charge over the manner he was brought back into the country to continue his terrorism trial.
The appellate court in the lead judgement delivered by Justice Adedotun Adefope-Okojie had held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to try Kanu because his extraordinary rendition violated international convention and protocols.
Dissatisfied, the federal government having filed a notice of appeal against the judgement of the Court of Appeal at the apex court, asked the court to stay the execution of the judgement discharging Kanu pending the hearing and determination of the appeal at the apex court.
Federal government’s lawyer, Mr. David Kaswe hinged the request on the security situation in the country and especially in the South-east, adding that Kanu is a flight risk who had once jumped bail and that freeing him before the appeal at the apex court could jeopardise the case.
This article was updated 12 months ago