A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted the application by the government to shield its witnesses in the trial of the self-proclaimed leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu and two others standing trial for alleged treason.
Mr Kanu’s trial was again stalled as the prosecutor, who ought to open his case, told the court that even though the prosecution witnesses were ready to testify, they had expressed fear for their lives.
According to the prosecutor, the witnesses claimed they have been threatened by associates of the accused persons should they testify in the court, stressing that they would only testify if they were assured of their personal safety.
However, counsel to the accused person, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, argued that the application would amount to asking the court to reverse itself, which he said was illegal in law.
According to him, it was a ploy by the prosecution to continue to delay the trial and there was no place in the law for sentiments and emotions.
The defence counsel said that the prosecution has shown that it was not ready for trial, therefore the charges against the accused persons should be dismissed and the accused persons be acquitted.
In his ruling on Monday, Justice James Tsoho said that the application by the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Mohammed Diri, was not a departure from his earlier ruling that the court would protect the witnesses from any harm.
He ordered that besides proving the witnesses with a path and secret holding room, a shield would be used to ensure that only the judge, the accused persons and parties in the suit have access to the countenance of the witnesses.