A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Federal Government to pay N200,000 to the four co-defendants of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
KanyiDaily had earlier reported that the four defendants, Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudike, Benjamin Maduagwu, and David Nwaurusi, arrived the court this Wednesday morning for their trial on a three-count charge bordering on treasonable felony.
The defendants were being tried alongside Nnamdi Kanu for alleged treason, but the IPOB leader’s absence in previous court sittings prompted the federal government to file separate charges against them.
During the court session on Wednesday, the presiding judge, Binta Nyako ordered the office of the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) to pay N50,000 each to the four defendants for stalling proceedings in the case.
The judge’s position was informed by the defence complaint about the absence of the prosecution lawyer or any legal representation for the federal government at the time the matter was called.
The defendants, through their lawyers, had also omplained that they were being subjected to unnecessary hardship of raising funds to attend court from their base outside Abuja.
However, shortly before the judge adjourned the matter, one Adewumi Aluko came in and identified herself as a counsel from the AGF’s office.
While apologising, she notified the court that Labaran Magaji, the lead prosecutor, was out of the country.
She said the prosecution has two witnesses in court but would not want to proceed in Magaji’s absence, and prayed for an adjournment.
Nyako frowned at the prosecution’s conduct and counselled it to be more diligent in handling the case.
She equally extended similar advice to the defence to stop using frivolous applications to delay proceedings in the case that commenced in 2015.
The judge then adjourned till March 17, 2022.
KanyiDaily recalls that Nnamdi Kanu’s trial was also adjourned to February 16th after he pleaded not guilty to 15-count charges bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism instituted against him by the FG at the Federal High Court in Abuja.