FG amends terrorism charges against Nnamdi Kanu

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British High Commission reacts Nnamdi Kanu is leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)
Nnamdi Kanu is leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)

The Federal Government of Nigeria has amended its seven-count charge against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The amendment which was filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on Monday, borders on treasonable felony and the alleged involvement of Kanu in terrorism activities.

In a related development, the lawmaker representing Anambra North senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Ifeanyi Uba, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to allow him access to the detained IPOB leader as part of his legislative obligation to determine his alleged involvement in the acts of terror perpetrated in the Southeast.

Senator Uba filed the suit on October 15, stating that the economy in the southeast has been crippled due to the weekly sit-at-home order by the proscribed group.

Uba added that he was refused access to Kanu who is being detained at a DSS facility. He was asked to obtain a court permission before he would be allowed to see Kanu.

Kanu was first arrested in 2015 on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, and improper importation of goods, among others.

He was initially detained and arraigned in court, but he fled the country in 2017 after he was granted bail for medical reasons.

The embattled IPOB leader was later sighted in Israel, but he was intercepted on June 27 and repatriated to Nigeria to face the charges for which he was arrested – about four years since he jumped bail.

His repatriation followed an operation conducted by Nigerian security operatives in collaboration with international partners.

On July 26, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja adjourned the trial of Kanu until October 21 after the DSS failed to produce him in court.

She faulted the action of the security outfit and asked the prosecution to be diligent with dates whenever she gives one, stressing that it was important for Kanu to be present at his trial.

The judge had also made an order for regimented access to the defendant but declined the proposal of Kanu’s counsel that he should be transferred to a correctional centre.