Mazi Nnamdi Kanu Photo: BBC
. Prosecutors withdraw fresh amended charges
Federal High Court in Abuja has on Wednesday denied bail to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), after prosecutors had withdrawn fresh amended charges against him.
The Nigerian government had in the amended charges, listed some lawyers representing the embattled Kanu, including Misters Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Maxwell Opara, as accomplices of the defendant.
The said lawyers were alleged to have been in constant contact with Kanu after he jumped bail and fled the country.
Presiding Justice Binta Nyako was critical of the prosecution for filing the amended charges just hours before the ruling. She said she was unaware of the amended charges until she got to the court in the morning.
According to her, the prosecution cannot dump the new amended charges on the court, on the morning of the hearing.
A bail application was put forward by Kanu’s lawyers which was denied by Justice Nyako on the grounds that his absence in the past, since 2017, should be determined, before a bail application, would be entertained.
Justice Nyako however struck out the charges preferred against Nnamdi Kanu.
On dismissing his bail application, the court noted that Kanu’s trial had since 2015, suffered various setbacks owing to over 19 interlocutory applications that had been filed in the matter.
The 54-year-old’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, accused the prosecution of trying to delay processes by continuous amendment of the charge against his client.
Ozekhome also told the court that this is the seventh time the Federal government was amending its charge.
Justice Nyako agreed with Ozekhome’s submission stating that Kanu was not expected to take a plea on those newly amended charges immediately, as he needed time to digest them before doing so.
It, therefore, implored the parties to allow the case to proceed to trial, to enable the charge to be determined.