Ohanaeze Ndigbo has slammed the Department of State Services (DSS) over adjournment of the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
KanyiDaily had earlier reported how Nnamdi Kanu’s trial was postponed till October after the DSS failed to produce him at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.
The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the case till October 21, 2021, after the DSS blamed Kanu’s absence in court on what it termed as “logistical problems”.
Ohanaeze Slams DSS Over Nnamdi Kanu’s Absence in Court
Speaking to journalists after the court proceedings on Monday, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, lawyer to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, described the reason given by the DSS for not bringing Nnamdi Kanu for his trial as “senseless”.
Chief Uwazuruike, who also represented the Igbo social-political group at Monday’s trial said said, “We did not see Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. We only heard that he was brought back from Kenya, nobody has seen him. Ohanaeze is saying Kanu remains our son.
“He must be brought to court. And the reason given by the government for not bringing him to court is questionable – they said it is a problem of logistics.
“In simple language, the DSS said they don’t have a vehicle to bring him as far as I am concerned, that’s the meaning of the word logistic. And it does not make sense,” said Uwazuruike.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo chieftain who noted that the judge could not proceed with the case because of absence of Kanu in court wondered why the Biafra agitator is being treated like a criminal, noting that his lawyer has also been denied access to him.
“He is a suspect and everybody is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Today, we have come all the way to Abuja to look at what is going on and the first thing we did was to look for him and we did not see him.
“Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer has also been complaining that he has been denied the opportunity of seeing his client in the past 10 days. And the Judge is having a meeting with the prosecutor and Kanu’s lawyer to know when to go and see him.
“We are only hearing. We don’t know if he is alive. We want to see that justice is not only done, but it must been seen to be done.
“What triumphed today is technicality, not justice. Justice demands that you don’t put somebody under cell and decide when you will be brought to trial.
“Nnamdi Kanu is in the custody of DSS and it is not a prison. In a simple change nothing has changed. This trial is being monitored all over the world.
“The judiciary is on trial in Nigeria today and how they handled this case will determine how judiciary is handled in Nigeria. It is an international case and we will monitor it to the end,” the Ohanaeze chieftain said.
Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial Postponed Till October
Meanwhile, the convener of Concerned Nigerian, Deji Adeyanju has reacted to the adjournment of the trial and revealed that the reason why the DSS failed to bring Nnamdi Kanu to court.
The IPOB leader was arraigned on Monday, July 26, 2021, for the continuation of his trial on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, and managing an unlawful society.
Other allegations levelled against him by the government were the publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, and improper importation of goods, among others.
Nnamdi Kanu was initially detained and arraigned in Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, but he fled the country in 2017 after he was granted bail for medical reasons.
After four years since he jumped bail, the IPOB leader was arrested in Kenya and repatriated to Nigeria on July 27, in an operation conducted by Nigerian security operatives in collaboration with international partners, to face the charges for which he jumped.