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Nnamdi Kanu to know fate on fresh bail, house arrest requests May 20

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The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra,  IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu will on May 20 know his fate in his request for restoration of his revoked bail and the removal from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to house arrest.

Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, fixed the date on Wednesday after taking arguments from Kanu’s legal team led by Alloy Ejimakor and that of the Federal Government, represented by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN.

Kanu, who has been in detention since 2021 in a motion argued by Ejimakor requested the court to restore the bail granted him in 2017 by the same Judge.

He told the court that contrary to the claim of the Federal Government, he did not jump bail or breach any of the conditions of the bail but had to escape out of the country when the military allegedly invaded his house.

The detained IPOB leader also said that he would have been killed if he had not escaped the way he did and accused the Federal Government of misleading the court to get the bail revoked in his absence.

He also asked the court to set aside the arrest warrant issued against him by the court while he was out of the country.

In a separate motion, also argued by his legal team, Kanu demanded his removal from the custody of the DSS to a house arrest or in the alternative, to remand him in prison.

Besides, he asked that his lawyers must be allowed unhindered access to him to enable him prepare for his defense in the terrorism charges against him, adding that until those conditions are met by the Federal Government in line with Section 36 of the 1999 constitution, he would not submit himself for trial.

However, the Federal Government’s legal team, led by Awomolo vehemently opposed granting of all the requests made by Kanu.

Among others, the lawyer said that, in a criminal matter, no defendant has right to dictate to court how his prosecution would be conducted.

Awomolo told the court that Kanu was once admitted to bail but breached the bail by escaping out of the country under false claims.

He argued that the fresh request for bail by Kanu is a gross abuse of court process, having been rejected earlier by the same court, adding that the only option available to the defendant is to go to the Court of Appeal to challenge the rejection since the High Court cannot overrule itself.

On the request for removal from DSS custody, Awomolo said that the only safe and secured environment for Kanu remains the DSS custody in the interest of safety of his life.

He urged the court to dismiss the allegation of hindered access to lawyers by Kanu, adding that in his application and the supporting affidavit, Kanu failed to name any DSS operative hindering lawyers from accessing him or eavesdropping during conversation with lawyers.

Speaking with journalists after the proceedings, a House of Representatives members, Ikenga Ugochinyere, praised the legal team of Kanu for standing to get fair trial for their client adding that, under the present circumstances, there would be no opportunity for Kanu to get better deal when his hands and legs are tied in the custody of the DSS.

He appealed to President Bola Tinubu to end the trial logjam by ensuring out of court settlement for general peace to reign in the country.

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