Embattled Leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday, 19th January, 2022, pleaded “NOT GUILTY” to the fresh 15 count charges bordering terrorism and treason that were amended and brought against him by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
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Kanu who was earlier arraigned before a federal high court in Abuja, by 10am on Thursday October 21, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to a 7-count Charge of Treason and Terrorism, pleaded not guilty a to fresh and amended 15-count charge before the court, after he was brought to court around 10:15am and was re-arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako.
After he pleaded not guilty, Kanu also complained from the dock that some counts in the amended charge were similar, but the Prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, told the court that he was ready to proceed with the trial, adding that he brought two witnesses to testify against the Defendant.
In a counter motion, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, is the new Nnamdi Kanu’s lead counsel, told the court that he had on Tuesday evening, filed a 43-paged Preliminary Objection for the charge to be quashed and struck out without the matter proceeding to trial. In his words;
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“We are further asking that the Defendant should be discharged and acquitted as there is nothing in this charge. It has no basis at all. “We also have a motion requesting the court to grant bail to the Defendant”.
On his part, FG’s lawyer, Shuaibu Labaran, argued that Kanu’s two applications were not ripe for hearing, stressing that he would require time to go through them so as to be able to respond.
“In essence, business of the day cannot be allowed to be truncated by these applications”, he argued.
In a brief ruling, Justice Nyako noted that since Kanu’s first application is challenging the propriety of his trial as well as competence of the charge against him, the court ought to hear it first.
“As for the second motion (on the issue of bail), I don’t even want to talk about it, at least not at this stage”, Justice Nyako held. The court subsequently adjourned till February 16 to hear the pending application.