In view of the fact that many Biafrans are not aware of the sequence of the impending court appearances of Nnamdi Kanu, Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), his lawyer has come out to make explanations. The head of Kanu’s defence team, Chuka Muoma, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), equally took the opportunity to explain the issues that would be trashed out in those appearances.
He explained that the court appearances of Kanu and his colleagues would be on April 5, 2016, as well as April 25, 2016. On the April 5 case, Muoma said the Biafran leader will be at the Federal High Court Abuja, to argue on the motion he moved to the Court of Appeal, which was to determine whether witnesses would be allowed to testify behind screens.
On April 25, Kanu’s appearance would be at the Federal Court of Appeal, and it would be to determine whether what he was challenging was proper or improper for witnesses to testify behind screens.  If the Court of Appeal rules that witnesses testifying behind screens were not proper, then he would have to go back to the Federal High Court to continue with the trial. But if the Court of Appeal rules to the contrary, then Kanu will not return to the Federal High Court yet; but would first take the case to the higher court to rule on the issue.

It is instructive to note that on February 19, Justice John Tsoho ruled against the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) on the matter of using hooded witnesses against the accused. But on March 7, the same Tsoho turned around to rule in favour of witnesses being allowed to testify why being screened away from the accused. Interestingly, the turn-around decision was without a written request from the prosecution.
That was why Kanu went to the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision. He said it was immoral for the Nigerian government to accuse him in public and then decide to try him in secret.

Immediately after the March 7 decision, another lawyer in Kanu’s defence team, Ifeanyi Ejiofor had addressed the press explaining why the defence team was seeking redress from the Federal Appeal Court. He said: “surprisingly on the 7th of March, when the matter came up for hearing they came up again with another application to vary the order made by the court on the 19th of February. And we are fully aware that before a party who is dissatisfied with the order of court or ruling, should go to appeal, and there is circumstance under which a court would vary this order; and that circumstance is not present in the present case.

“That was why we filed an application challenging the order made by the court on the 7th of March. We have filed notice of appeal and also we are asking for a stay of proceeding. As you can know, the issue we are talking about here borders on Constitutional matters, and that of our defendants fair trials and fair hearing. So there is no reason why the court should proceed in hearing the application without first of all awaiting the decision of court of the Court of Appeal in that matter, because if the court proceeds in hearing the application, it will certainly – one way or the other – render the decision of the Court of Appeal ineffective.

“Apparently, there is an obvious design to frustrate the efforts of the defence, and we are of the firm conviction that by the way and manner the trial is being conducted, that our client may not get fair trial in this court. We have firm conviction, and part of the relieve we are seeking from the Court of Appeal is for it to direct the honourable CJ, Chief Justice of the Federal High Court, to transfer this case to another court. We are firmly convinced that our client will not get fair trial in this case”, Ejiofor said.

By Chimaobi Okafor

For Biafra Choice Writers
Share To:



0 comments so far,add yours