‘Treason, terrorism charges’: I’m not guilty – Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi Kanu with his lawyers

The detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has pleaded not guilty to the fresh amended 15-count treasonable felony charge the federal government preferred against him.

After his formal arraignment, the federal government on Wednesday, opened Kanu’s trial othe terrorism charges.

Kanu, who was brought into the courtroom around 10:15am Wednesday, pleaded innocence to all the allegations levelled against him, insisting that some counts in the amended charge were similar.

Some exhibits meant to be tendered against Kanu by government were also brought to the court room during the arraignment.

Also electronic equipment comprising various cameras were brought to court and were inspected by the lead counsel to the federal government, Mr Shuaib Magaji Labaran.

At Wednesday’s proceeding, representative of the British High Commissioner came to observe the trial for the United Kingdom as requested by the embattled IPOB leader.

When the matter was called up, Kanu appeared again in his white Fendi attire despite Justice Binta Nyako’s order that he be made to change his cloth.

But reacting on the development, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, told the court that Kanu was the one that chose to wear his designers’ Fendi clothes.

He said: “My lord, based on your order yesterday, we provided the Defendant with a new orthopedic mattress, pillows and blankets.

“As for his appearance, he chose to wear this particular one because he said that it is designers.”

In his response, Kanu’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, told the court that it was not true that his client insisted on wearing his designers’ clothes.

“My lord what happened was that by the time proceedings ended yesterday, and because it was not his visiting day, we were not able to pass to him, some clothes we obtained for him.

“We even discussed it with him this morning and he said that on the next visiting day he would want to have the new clothes,” Ozekhome added.

He told the court that he had on Tuesday evening, filed a 43-paged Preliminary Objection for the charge to be quashed and struck out without the matter proceeding to trial.

“We are further asking that the Defendant should be discharged and acquitted as there is nothing in this charge. It has no basis at all.

“We also have a motion requesting the court to grant bail to the Defendant”, Ozekhome added.

On his part, the federal government lawyer, Labaran, argued that Kanu’s two applications were not ripe for hearing, stressing that he would require time to go through them so as to be able to respond.

“In essence, business of the day cannot be allowed to be truncated by these applications,” he argued.

Ruling on the arguments, Justice Nyako held that since Kanu’s first application is challenging the propriety of his trial as well as competence of the charge against him, the court ought to hear it first.

“As for the second motion relating to bail, I don’t even want to talk about it, at least not at this stage,” Justice Nyako held further.

After parties’ submission, the court then adjourned till February 16 for pending applications to be heard.