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‘Terrorism’: Kanu proposes out-of-court-settlement

Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has hinted at an out-of-court settlement in his alleged treasonable felony trial. Kanu made…

Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has hinted at an out-of-court settlement in his alleged treasonable felony trial.

Kanu made the disclosure on Wednesday at his resumed trial before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The detained IPOB leader has been in custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) since 2021 when he was re-arrested and brought back to continue his trial on alleged treasonable felony.

Recall that the court had last month refused to grant his bail application on the grounds that the secret service custody is the proper place for the defendant to be while the trial lasts.

However, when the matter was called, his lead counsel, Mr Ejimakor Aloy, Esq, informed the court that the secret service was yet to fully comply with the orders of the court as their visit to Kanu was still being bugged.

While stating that the defendant has resolved to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the Director-General of the DSS for refusing to obey the orders directing the service to grant Kanu a “safe room” (unbugged) space for meeting with his lawyers, Ejimakor asked the court to on its own invoke Section 17 of the Federal High Court Act, which he said, provides for “reconciliation” and facilitation of amicable settlement in criminal or civil matters.

He claimed that he had sometimes ago discussed the proposition with counsel to the federal government, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), adding that the senior lawyer had responded by saying that the proper time for such issue has not come.

Responding, Awomolo informed the court that he does not have the instruction of his client to embark on any negations with the defendant over the charge.

“I told him to go to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) who has the power,” Awomolo said.

“If he is interested in negotiating he should go there, his office is just here.”

However, trial judge who observed that the court has no problem if the parties want to discuss negotiation, urged Kanu to approach the AGF, who is the proper person to negotiate with.

On the issue of Forms 48 and 49, seeking the imprisonment of the DSS boss for allegedly disobeying the court’s orders, Justice Nyako held that both applications were not before her, adding that the matter would be looked into when she sees the file.

Nyako however, ordered the service to provide an “unbugged space” for Kanu to meet with his lawyers each time they were at the facility to prepare Kanu for trial.

Meanwhile, Justice Nyako also dismissed a fresh application by Kanu challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain counts 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 15 for being unconstitutional.

The court held that it cannot over rule itself on issues she had already resolved, adding that the only option left for the applicant was to proceed on appeal.

Kanu had at the last hearing protested his continued trial on the violation of international laws and the Nigerian Constitution arising from his extradition from Kenya in 2021.

The hearing is expected to continue on Thursday.

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