Court, Kanu

The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has indicated his interest in exploring an out-of-court settlement in the alleged terrorism charge preferred against him by the Federal Government.

Kanu’s lead counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, told Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja upon resumed trial in the matter on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

Ejimakor told the court that he had discussed the matter with the lawyer to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), in the last adjourned date.

But Awomolo said though Ejimakor had a discussion with him on the issue, the lawyer said he bluntly told him to approach the AGF who had the power to initiate the idea.

“I have not been instructed or authorised to do so,” he said.

Earlier when the matter was called, Awomolo informed the court that the matter was scheduled for trial.

He said he was ready to proceed as their witnesses were in court.

Ejimakor then informed the court that he had two applications before the court.

The lawyer said one was Form 49 application seeking the committal of the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS) to prison for alleged disobedience to court orders.

Nnamdi Kanu files contempt charge against DSS DG

He said the second was the application challenging the jurisdiction of the court, adding that the DSS had not fully complied with the orders of the court as their visit to Kanu was still being bugged.

Ejimakor, however, said in their last visit to Kanu on Monday, there was considerable improvement in the way they were treated by the security agency.

He said he and his colleagues were granted access into the facility and they were given papers to take note.

The lawyer, however, insisted that the service had not obeyed the order directing them to give Kanu a “safe room” to meet with his lawyers.

Responding, Awomolo said he did not have the instruction of his client to embark on any negation with the defendant over the charge.

He said as a legal practitioner, he was only briefed to prosecute the matter.

However, the judge who said the court had no problem with exploring out-of-court settlement if the parties decided to do so, urged Kanu to approach the AGF who is the proper person to negotiate with.

On the issue of Form 49 application filed by Kanu, Justice Nyako held that application was not before her.

The judge, however, ordered the DSS to provide an “unbugged space” for Kanu to meet with his lawyers each time they were at the facility to prepare for his defence.

Justice Nyako, therefore, adjourned the matter until September 24 for further hearing.

Kanu has been in DSS custody since 2021 when he was re-arrested and brought back to continue his trial on allegedly treasonable felony and terrorism charge.

The court had, on May 20, refused to release him from custody on grounds that the DSS is the proper place for the defendant to be while the trial lasts.

The Star



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