News Update

Legal Team Seeks Bail for IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu Amid Health Concerns

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Unless there are unforeseen changes, the defense team for Nnamdi Kanu, the chief of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is set to petition for his bail on February 26, awaiting the final verdict of his court case at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Legal Team Seeks Bail for IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu Amid Health Concerns
Nnamdi Kanu in court 29 June 2021

Since June 2021, Kanu has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) following a directive from the Nigerian government after his forcible extradition from Kenya to Nigeria.

Following his extradition, the Appeal Court exonerated Kanu from all terrorism-related accusations. However, in December 2023, the Supreme Court reversed this decision, mandating the continuation of his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The Federal High Court in Abuja has scheduled February 26 to resume Kanu’s trial on terrorism charges.

OduNews reported that the IPOB’s legal representatives are basing Kanu’s bail request on the infringement of his privacy during legal consultations, which they argue compromises his constitutional right to legal counsel and adequate preparation for his defense.

The defense will further highlight that Kanu has endured over 50 months, or more than four years, in pretrial detention.

Moreover, Kanu’s bail application is reinforced by concerns over his serious health issues, including a heart condition, hypertension, and potassium deficiency.

A court filing reviewed by a DAILY POST journalist, under case number FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, quotes the IPOB legal team: “Based on the aforementioned reasons, we respectfully request that Your Lordship grants him bail under reasonable and modest conditions.”

In a Motion on Notice filed under sections 6(6), 35, and 36(5), along with sections 158, 161, and 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the legal team will seek “an order from this Honorable Court granting the Applicant/Defendant bail pending the outcome of his trial. AND for any other order(s) this Honorable Court considers appropriate under these circumstances.”

Prince Emmanuel, Kanu’s brother, submitted an affidavit supporting the bail motion for the IPOB leader.

The affidavit includes the following statements: “I, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, male, adult, a Christian and a Nigerian citizen, residing at Eze I. O Kanu Drive, Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North LGA, Abia State, hereby swear to this Affidavit and state the following:

“That I am a family member of the Defendant/Applicant (hereinafter referred to as “Applicant”), who, being detained, has authorized me to swear to this Affidavit.

“That on the 18th of January, 2024, around 4 pm at the State Security Services Headquarters in Abuja, the Applicant informed me of certain facts, which I sincerely believe to be true.

“That the Applicant was apprehended in Lagos upon his return from the United Kingdom in October 2015, detained in Abuja, indicted, and subsequently arraigned for various offenses.

“That in April 2017, following this Honorable Court’s Order, the Applicant was granted bail and then returned to his ancestral home in Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North LGA, Abia State, to await the next trial date scheduled for October 20, 2017.

“That between September 10 and 14, 2017, while the Applicant was at home with relatives and friends, the Nigerian Army attacked the Applicant’s family residence.

“That during the assault by the military, the Applicant fled and stayed hidden until October 2018, when he managed to safely travel to Israel. From there, he submitted a detailed statement to this Honorable Court, explaining the military attack as the reason for his escape and subsequent absence from his trial in October 2017.

“That the Applicant believes that his obligation to stand trial does not extend to endangering his own life by not evading extrajudicial execution.”

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