The Federal High Court, Abuja, will on April 25 rule on whether or not the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and three others, should be admitted to bail.
The judge, Justice Binta Nyako, gave the date after hearing arguments from counsel to Kanu and those of the three co-defendants – Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.
Counsel to Kanu, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, in his argument, told the court that the proof of evidence filed by the prosecution against his client was not strong enough to warrant his continued detention.
According to him, the proof of evidence is empty and not strong enough to sustain the charge against him and his health is deteriorating.
“We have attached nine exhibits to our application; one of them is an order of this court made by your learned colleague, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, that he be granted bail which has not been complied with.
We also attached a letter we wrote to the Controller-General of Prisons informing him of an attempt to terminate the life of the defendant.
“Canisters of tear gas were left in his cell which he inhaled and this has affected his lungs and he can barely stand and if not released on bail, his health will get worse in prison,” Ejiofor said.
He acknowledged that bail was at the discretion of the court, and urged the judge to exercise the descretion in favour of his client in the most liberal terms.
Mr Inalegwu Adoga, counsel to Onwudiwe, urged the court to admit his client to bail, adding that bail was constitutional, temporary and would end if the defendant was convicted.
He argued that his continuous detention amounted to him already serving a jail term even though the constitution held that he was innocent until proven otherwise.
He expressed concerns that he might not be able to properly defend his client while in detention as the DSS was making it impossible to have access to him.
“On the last day I went to visit my client in l was told by stern looking DSS operatives that he was no longer allowed visits from anyone, including his lawyers.”
Justice Binta Nyako also ruled that she would not review her judgment on the issue of protecting the identity of the witnesses as long as they were security operatives.
“I will not vary my order on protection of security operatives; It is either they wear a mask or are behind a screen. “Security operatives need to be protected, not because of this case, but because of the future; so, as long as the witnesses are security personnel, they will be taken behind a screen,” Nyako said.
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