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Referendum Suit: Court Hears Objection Of Detained IPOB Leader

Referendum Suit: Court Hears Objection Of Detained IPOB Leader FEBRUARY 17 , 2022 | EASTERN PILOT Report By: Chikwas Onu Ikpe | • Court lack...

Referendum Suit: Court Hears Objection Of Detained IPOB Leader


Report By: Chikwas Onu Ikpe |

• Court lacks jurisdiction in this matter – Kanu's lawyer

• Kanu's proposed clothings are 'intimidating' – DSS

ABUJA — A Division of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Wednesday heard a preliminary objection by the defendant, Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The court proceedings began at exactly 01:39pm, shortly after the arrival of the defence counsels, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Mike Ozekhome (SAN); not excluding the Prosecution counsel, Shuaibu. M Labaran.

In the objection, an application challenging the competence of the 15-count amended charge, was filed by the defence team headed by Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). The opposing application was supported by a 34-point affidavit; which cited amongst others, that the charges were "as dead as dodo," adding that "the court lacks jurisdiction" over the accusations against Nnamdi Kanu. Ozekhome argued that there was no location, in the charge, where his client could have committed the said offense.

"You are accusing Nnamdi Kanu of making broadcast. You didn't say where this broadcast was made. Was it made in the spirit world? Was it made in the air? Was it made under the ground? You didn't state. That was to run away from the 1st-count charge, which we attacked, when they had mentioned United Kingdom. So they thought that by not mentioning the place, they had ran away from it. "But, as a matter of fact, they have worsened their case; because the Federal High Court Act states in section 34 that you must state the specific location an offense had been committed.

"Saying that the 'violent' broadcast he made led to protests in the East, and in Lagos, affecting the Lagos transportation system. Does this court have jurisdiction over matters that happened in Lagos...? In Uli (Anambra State)? No. Does this court have the jurisdiction over matters (if there was an offense) committed, for example, in UK? The answer is 'no,' because this court cannot exercise jurisdiction in matters within a sovereign land - in another country that has sovereignty." The defence team further prayed the court to quash the charges, and acquit Nnamdi Kanu.

Conversely, the prosecution had no specific dissatisfaction regarding the said application. Kanu's lawyer also raised issues regarding his client's debarment by the Department of State Security Services (DSS) to change clothings. Ozekhome also pointed that Kanu was developing eye defects as the DSS had seized his eye glasses. The trial judge, Binta Nyako, asked the DSS's director of legal, why Kanu was disallowed to change clothings.

The director of legal of the Department of State Security Services stated that Kanu's preferred clothes were "intimidating". He added that "the clothes had drawings of lions, which we do not allow". Nnamdi Kanu, meanwhile, said he desired to wearing the clothes of his people.

Justice Nyako, in her ruling, ordered the DSS to provided Kanu with a new set of eye glasses. The court also issued that Kanu be allowed a change of clothing, but in plain materials.

Resultantly, the court adjourned till April 8, 2022 for final ruling of the trial.


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