Trial Of Nnamdi Kanu Adjourned Till April 26

Nnamdi KanuThe trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, which was expected to continue on Tuesday morning has been adjourned.

Kanu’s counsel, Chuks Muoma (SAN) applied for stay of proceedings pending the hearing and determination of the appeal filed by them challenging the ruling of the court delivered on March 7 granting the request of the Federal Government to shield witnesses.

Justice James Tsoho has therefore adjourned ruling on the stay of proceedings to April 26.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on March 7 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.

According to the prosecutor, the witnesses claimed they had 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.

Kanu’s Trial: Court To Allow Witnesses Be Shielded

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.

Court Remands Badeh In Kuje Prison

alex badehA Federal High Court in Abuja has remanded a former Chief of Defence Staff in Nigeria, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, in Kuje Prison after he pleaded not guilty to a 10-count charge of money laundering. 

The court order came after an anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), at Monday’s proceeding asked the court to remand the former Chief of Defence Staff.

But in an attempt to make a bail application, the counsel to Air Chief Marshal Badeh, drew the attention of the court to a motion for bail filed by his client on March 2.

The presiding judge, Justice Obong Abang, however, held that the motion was not competent, as the court could only exercises jurisdiction over an accused person when he is arraigned.

Justice Abang thereafter struck out the application for lack of merit, but obliged the request of the accused person’s lawyer to hear the bail application in the shortest possible time.

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecution told the court that he would not be able to commence with the trial.

The trial judge then adjourned till March 19 to hear the bail application.

Air Chief Marshall Badeh is alleged to have used funds of the Nigeria Air Force to purchase choice property in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

According to the EFCC, he illegally used Six million Naira to renovate his son’s house, which he purchased for 260 million Naira in Abuja between January and December 2013.

The former Defence Chief is also alleged to have used 876 million Naira belonging to the Nigerian Air Force to build a shopping mall in  Abuja.

On March 4, a Federal High Court in Abuja turned down a fundamental rights enforcement application filed by Air Chief Marshal Badeh.

Mr Badeh in his application, sought the enforcement of his fundamental rights to liberty pending when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would be ready to charge him.

But the presiding judge, Justice James Tsoho, said that there was a subsisting withholding charge order by a Magistrate Court in Lagos, which gave the Anti-graft agency the right to detain him.

The former Chief of Defence Staff is facing a 10-count charge on money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of 3.9 billion Naira.

Court Refuses To Release Kanu’s Travel Documents, Cash

kanuThe self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, has lost his bid to compel a Federal High Court to release the sum of $2,200 and 7,000 Naira as well as his travel documents.

The items were retrieved from him when he was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Mr Kanu, through his lawyer, Mr Chris Momah, had told the court that the said items did not form part of the evidence listed by the prosecution as evidence in the case.

Trial judge, Justice James Tsoho, declined the request on the ground that it was not filed at the appropriate time in the case and that the prosecution is at liberty to determine and use whatever evidence, it wants to use to prove its case.

Court Denies Nnamdi Kanu Bail

KanuJustice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Abuja has declined to release the detained self-acclaimed leader of the indigenous people of Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu‎ on bail.

‎In a ruling on Friday, the court also denied bail to two other pro-Biafra agitators, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, who are facing trial with Kanu.

‎Justice Tsoho maintained that the charge against the defendants could attract severe punishment upon conviction.

The trial of Nnamdi Kanu and the two other accused persons has been fixed for the 6th to 12th of February.

At the hearing on Monday, Mr Kanu, through his counsel, had told the court that the offense for which he was standing trial was a bailable one.

However, the Director of Public Prosecution, who represented the Federal Government, asked the court to refuse bail on the grounds that the offence for which Mr Kanu and his co-accused were standing trial was a serious offense.

He also told the court that if granted bail, the accused would interfere with witnesses and evidence.

In the week before, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered that Mr Kanu, who had been on detention, be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing and determination of his bail application.

Justice James Tsoho gave the order shortly after Mr Kanu and two others pleaded not guilty to a six-count charge of treasonable felony and illegal importation of a radio transmitter preferred against them by the Federal Government.

Court To Give Ruling On Nnamdi Kanu’s Bail Application January 29

nnamdi kanu - biafraA Federal High Court says it will on January 29 rule on the bail application by Mr Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra.

At the hearing on monday, Mr Kanu, through his counsel, told the court that the offense for which he was standing trial was a bailable one.

However, the Director of Public Prosecution, who represented the Federal Government, asked the court to refuse bail on the grounds that the offence for which Mr Kanu and his co-accused were standing trial was a serious offense.

He also told the court that if granted bail, the accused would interfere with witnesses and evidence.

Having heard the two parties, the trial judge fixed the ruling on the bail application for January 29.

Last week, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered that Mr Kanu, who had been on detention, be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing and determination of his bail application.

Justice James Tsoho gave the order shortly after Mr Kanu and two others pleaded not guilty to a six-count charge of treasonable felony and illegal importation of a radio transmitter‎ preferred against them by the Federal Government.

IPOB Leader Expresses Lack Of Confidence In Judicial Process

Nnamdi KanuThe leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, has protested his trial before Justice Mohammed Ahmed of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Kanu, who is the founder of Radio Biafra, refused to take plea on a six count charge of treason, importation of illegal good and possession of fire arms filed against him by the Department of State Services on the ground that will not get fair trial.

Kanu, who was docked with two others says he lacks confidence in the court because information available to him indicated that he will not get a fair trial before the judge.

According go to him, he will not sacrifice the due process of the law founded in the principles of natural justice upon the altar of speedy release from detention.

“I will rather remain in detention than subject myself to a trial that I know amounts to perversion of justice”, he said.

Reacting to Mr Kanu’s protest, the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Mohammed Diri, asked the court to discountenance the objection on the ground that the accused person ought to come before the court with a proper application.

He also adds that such a protest can only be made after an accused person takes his plea.

But his counsel, Mr Vincent Obetta, stood behind his client and asked the court to oblige his client’s request.

In a short ruling Justice Ahmed Mohammed said he agreed with the accused person’s protest, especially as it bothers on the issue of confidence in a judicial process.

Justice Ahmed said that since the confidence of the court has been questioned, he will return the case file to the Chief Justice of the Federal High Court for further action.

Absence Of Witness Stalls Subsidy Protest Murder Trial

A Lagos High Court has threatened to close the case of the prosecution over its failure to produce its witnesses in the murder trial which arose from the protests against fuel subsidy removal in January 2012.

A Divisional Police Officer with Pen Cinema Police Division, Lagos, Segun Fabunmi, who has now been dismissed from the Police, is standing trial before the court for allegedly shooting Adedamola Daramola to death at the Yaya-Abatan, Agege area during the protest.

Trial Judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade frowned at the inability of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, to produce its witnesses in court on Monday, even though the defendant, who was on bail, was present in court with his lawyer, Mr. George Oguntade.

The DPP, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan who appeared for the prosecution had told the court that the investigative police officer in the case, who was the witness, scheduled to testify today was appearing before a magistrate’s court in Ikeja.

She urged the court to stand down the matter till 12pm to enable the IPO to appear in court. This angered Justice Akinlade who described the request as an insult to the court.

After turning down the prosecution’s request to stand down the matter, the court threatened to close the prosecution’s case if it failed to produce more than one witness in court at the next hearing date.

Justice Akinlade has adjourned further proceedings till February 18.

Rainstorm Stalls Bail Decision For Lebanese Arms Suspect

A federal High Court in Abuja has postponed the ruling on the bail application sought by three Lebanese business men charged to court for terrorism and illegal possession of arms.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola who postponed the ruling sighted the heavy rainstorm which affected his office for the postponement.

He urged the counsels in the case and defendants to report to court by 9am on Friday the 12th of July 2013 for the ruling.

The three defendants, Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah Tahini and Talal Ahmad had at the last sitting of the court told the court to admit them to bail in the most liberal terms.

They also told the court through their counsel Mr Robert Clarke (SAN), that there is no evidence that the said weapons were found in the homes of the accused persons since the prosecution has not shown any particulars for their claims, as such they should be admitted to bail.

They also prayed that their two businesses, Amigo Supermarket and the Abuja Wonderland Amusement Park should be re-opened.

But the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Simeon Igede opposed the application.

He urged the court to reject the bail on the grounds that the charges against the defendfants are serious and that they have dual nationalities and are likely to jump bail.

Edo Halts Judicial Panel On Slain UNIBEN Student

Edo State Government has halted action on the setting up of a panel of inquiry into the killing of Mr. Ibrahim Momodu.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor said the government’s decision is because a case file on the late Momodu’s murder has been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions by the Police for advice and further action.

It said it will therefore amount to a duplication of efforts by Government to set up another panel of inquiry since the Director of Public Prosecutions is a government functionary in the state Ministry of Justice.

“Government is therefore of the view that it is sufficient at this point to wait for the outcome of the investigation and advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions before any other step is taken by Government” the statement read.

It also added that “whereas Governor Adams Oshiomhole, had promised to set up a judicial panel of inquiry into the killing of Ibrahim Momodu, events have overtaken this pronouncement as the case file on the late Momodu had since been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions by the police for advice and further action.”

“It will, therefore, amount to a duplication of efforts by government to set up another panel of inquiry since the DPP is a government functionary in the state Ministry of Justice.”

“Government is, therefore, of the view that it is sufficient at this point to wait for the outcome of the investigation and advice of the DPP before any other step is taken by government” the statement said.

Cynthia’s murder: Pharmaceutical group petitions prosecutor over member’s trial

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN), has petitioned the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, to properly review the murder case of Cynthia Osogoku to ensure that pharmacists were not persecuted wrongly.

The four suspects accused of killing Cynthia, who they met on Facebook

The national president of PSN, Mr. Azubike Okwor told journalists on Thursday that if the suspects were not found guilty of the crime of rape and armed robbery, they should be handed over to the Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria, (PCN), for proper discipline for selling drugs without prescription.

Mr Okwor says that if the liability of the two pharmacists was limited to the sales or alleged sale of Rohypnol to clients they do not know and never collaborated in the condemnable crime.

He noted that it would be logical to believe there might have been breaches of professional ethics, adding  that the law provides that such matters to be dealt with by the Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria.

Four suspects were on Monday arraigned before a Yaba Magistrate Court for killing 24-year old Cynthia Osokogu, who they met on social media platform.

The suspects, Okwumo Nwabufo,  Ezeike Olisaeloka, Orji Osita and the pharmacists that sold the drug, Rohypnol Flunitrapezam-Maduakor Chukwunonso,  are standing trial on an eight-count of felony, conspiracy, robbery and murder.