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Kanu: Court rejects IPOB leader’s bail plea

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On Monday, the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the bail application filed by Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Justice Binta Nyako ruled that Kanu’s request lacked merit, noting his previous bail conditions and subsequent flight from the country.

Justice Nyako emphasized that Kanu’s sureties had applied to be discharged after failing to locate him when he fled the country.

“The only option left for Kanu is to go to the Court of Appeal,” she advised, directing him to seek redress at the appellate court.

Kanu had argued that Section 2, Subsection 3F of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act, 2022, precluded his trial in Nigeria. He contended that the Act defines an “act of terrorism” to include any attempt to try him, thus rendering any such trial illegal.

“Anyone standing in trial or coming to try me is a terrorist. That is what the law says, not me,” Kanu declared.

Despite these claims, Justice Nyako maintained that the Supreme Court had not ruled in favour of Kanu regarding the bail issue, contradicting the assertions made by his legal team.

The court’s decision came after Kanu’s multiple previous bail requests had been denied, and his current detention by the DSS was upheld.

Kanu’s frustration was palpable as he recounted the events leading to his flight from Nigeria. He claimed that his home was invaded by soldiers, prompting his escape, and criticized his subsequent arrest in Kenya and rendition to Nigeria as violations of international law.

In addition to denying his bail, the court refused Kanu’s request to be transferred to prison or placed under house arrest. However, the court ordered the DSS to ensure Kanu had access to his lawyers, stipulating that he be provided with a suitable environment for legal consultations.

Kanu’s initial bail was granted on April 28, 2017, but he fled the country after a military operation at his home led to the deaths of some of his followers. He was re-arrested in Kenya on June 19, 2021, and extraordinarily renditioned back to Nigeria on June 27, 2021.

Since then, he has remained in DSS custody. On April 8, 2022, the court struck out eight out of the 15 charges against him, citing a lack of substance in those charges.

Kanu’s legal battle continues as he prepares to take his case to the Court of Appeal, maintaining his stance that any trial in Nigeria would be unlawful under the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act.

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