Biafra: FG re-arraigns Kanu, 3 others on felony, terrorism charge
The Federal Government, Tuesday, re-arraigned the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Kanu who was hitherto answering to a six-count treason charge alongside two other pro-Biafra agitators, David Nwawusi and Benjamin Madubugwu, is now facing an amended 11-count charge, with FG including terrorism among offences the defendants allegedly committed.
Equally docked as the 4th defendant on the amended charge dated November 7, was an alleged National Coordinator of IPOB, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe.
Meantime, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the fresh charge which was signed by the new Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mr. Mohammed Umar.
The defendant took their plea before a new trial Judge, Justice Binta Nyako.
It will be recalled that the previous judge handling the matter, Justice John Tsoho had on September 26, disqualified himself from presiding over trial of the defendants.
Justice Tsoho who earlier denied the defendants bail, premised his decision to hands-off the matter on a petition pending against him before the National Judicial Council, NJC.
Kanu and his co-accused persons had in a joint petition they filed through their lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the NJC that Justice Tsoho indulged in act of “judicial rascality”, by delivering conflicting rulings on the same subject matter.
They alleged that the judge summarily reversed his previous ruling that barred the Federal Government from masking all the witnesses billed to testify against them.
The defendants maintained that Justice Tsoho denied them fair hearing on the day he gave FG the nod to produce “masquerades” to testify against them. Remarkably, Justice Tsoho was the second Judge to hands-off trial of the defendants.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed who was the first judge Kanu was taken to by FG, had in a bench ruling he delivered on December 23, 2015, also distanced himself from the matter.