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Nnamdi Kanu Objects To Continuing Trial from DSS Custody

Nnamdi Kanu has objected to trial from DSS custody, citing inadequate preparation and seeks restoration of bail revoked in 2019.

The detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has objected to the continuation of his trial from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Kanu, who has been in DSS’ custody since 2021, when he was rearrested and brought to continue his trial, argued that he could not prepare adequately for his trial while being held by the secret service.

He has therefore asked the court to restore his bail which was revoked in 2019, or ordered that he be kept under house arrest.

Meanwhile, trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako has fixed May 20, to decide whether she will grant the request.

She fixed the date shortly after taking arguments from Kanu’s legal team led by Alloy Ejimakor and that of the federal government, represented by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN.

Ejimakor told the court that contrary to the claim of the prosecution, he did not jump bail or breach any of the conditions of the bail but had to escape from the country when the military allegedly invaded his father’s house in Abia State.

He claimed that he would have been killed if he had not escaped the way he did, adding that the federal government had misled the court to get 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 a separate motion, also argued by his legal team, Kanu demanded his removal from the custody of the DSS to a house arrest or in the alternative, to remand him in prison.

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 in line with Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, he would not submit himself for trial.

But the federal government’s legal team, led by Awomolo, opposed granting all the requests made by Kanu.

Among others, the senior lawyer said, in a criminal matter, no defendant has the right to dictate to 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, but that the only option available 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 the only safe and secured environment for Kanu remained the DSS custody in the interest of 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, he, Kanu failed to name any DSS operative hindering lawyers from accessing him or eavesdropping during conversation with lawyers.

Alex Enumah

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