The Federal High Court Abuja, Wednesday, refused to grant bail to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, pending the determination of the treasonable felony charge the federal government preferred against him.
The trial Judge, Justice Binta Nyako, held that Kanu must explain the reason why he breached the previous bail that was given to him, before he could enjoy another favourable discretion from the court.
“Until the issue of absence of the defendant for his trial, with all the bail conditions breached, is determined, the instant application of the defendant for bail will at best be premature and it is refused.
“However, the defendant is at liberty to refile the application”, Justice Nyako held.
The court noted that Kanu’s trial had since 2015, suffered various setbacks owing to over 19 interlocutory applications that have been filed in the matter.
It, therefore, implored the parties to allow the case to proceed on trial to enable the charge to be determined, one way or the other.
Kanu had filed the application pursuant to sections 6(6) and 36(5) and (6) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as sections 161, 162, 163 and 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, prayed the court to release him on bail, pending by determination of the charge against him.
He also prayed the court to order the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce the medical report of the defendant who is currently in its custody.
Kanu, told the court that he was severely tortured for eight days in Kenya, before he was repatriated back to Nigeria for continuation of his trial.
Kanu said he was confined to solitary confinement where he alleged that he was daily exposed to mental torture despite his deteriorating health.
The IPOB leader told the court that he has “credible and reliable sureties”, pledging that he would not commit any offence while on bail.
Besides, Kanu, argued that he has not been tried or convicted by any court of law in the country, contending that he was entitled to bail.
He further drew attention of the court to the fact that he was previously released on bail on health ground.
Countering, the federal government urged court to refuse the bail application, insisting that Kanu, having realised the gravity of the case against him, would run away from the country and not make himself available for trial.
Meanwhile, the court has struck out the newly amended six-count charges preferred against Kanu by the federal government following their earlier withdrawal by the petitioner.
The withdrawal came after Mike Ozekhome complained to the court that the prosecution is trying to delay processes by continuous amendment of the charge against his client.
Ozekhome told the court that this is the 7th time the government is amending its charges.
Justice Nyako concurred to Ozekhome’s submission stating that Kanu is not expected to take plea on those newly amended charges immediately, as he needs time to digest them before doing so.
After hearing parties out, Justice Nyako has since adjourned to May 26 for ruling on pending applications before the court.