Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned the trial of the leader of the proscribed
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu to January 19, 2022.
However, before the judge came into the court room, Kanu’s lawyers, staged a walk-out to protest the refusal of operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) to allow some members of the legal team to come into the courtroom.
Kanu, who was brought into the courtroom around 9:52am, had shortly after his case was called up, complained about the refusal of security agents to allow some members of his legal team, especially his lawyer from the the United States of America, Bruce Fein, to enter the courtroom.
The IPOB leader told the court that Mr. Fein, whom he said was handling a case for him in the US, was around to witness his trial.
Speaking from the dock, Kanu said: “I have an ongoing case in the US. I have not been allowed to see him. He is here to see me and to observe the proceedings.
“He has been to the DSS to see me, but they denied him access to me.”
Asked by the judge, if he was ready to conduct the proceedings himself, in the absence of his lawyers, Kanu replied in the negative.
Meanwhile, counsel to the federal government, Mr. M. D. Abubakar, who is also the Director of Public Prosecution, urged the court to proceed with the trial in the absence of Kanu’s lawyers.
Abubakar reminded the court that the case was fixed for hearing of an application filed by the Defendant.
He argued that since Kanu’s lead counsel, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who was initially inside the courtroom, walked out with his team shortly before the arrival of the judge, his pending application should be deemed abandoned.
In a short ruling, though Justice Nyako expressed his displeasure over the conduct of Kanu’s lawyers, she declined to dismiss the pending application and rather adjourned the case till January 19 and 20, 2022, for trial.
As Kanu was being driven away from the court, his supporters started singing his praises.
From nowhere, another group called One Nigeria Advocate carrying Nigerian flags appeared with drums, singing in support of the nation. They waved Nigerian flags. They also carried coffins with some names of people killed in the South East including Gulag
While those supporting Kanu described him as another saviour, those protesting in support of government called him a terrorist. Some carried coffins with names of some of the people killed in the South East.
They also carried placards with inscriptions- “IPOB are terrorists”, “IPOB stop killings our security men”, “One Nigeria one nation” “NNAMDI Kanu is a terrorist”, “IPOB is a terrorist organization”, “Respect your country Nigeria”.
Tension rose but did not degenerate probably because security agencies were at alert.