Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Federal High Court where the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently taking refuge out of this country and who recently lost his mother, has been standing trial on charges of treasonable felony, has said that, she could not guarantee the safety of the defendant, who is currently on bail, if he returns to face trial in Nigeria.
The judge made the comment in the Federal High Court Abuja on Thursday, October 31, 2019, following the IPOB leader’s expression through his counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiogu, of his readiness to return to face trial only if his safety would be guaranteed by the court.
Barr. Ejiogu had told the court that the application to restore the IPOB leaders bail so that he could face his trial was filed on April 1, 2019, adding that, “we urge the court to restore his bail on the grounds that the court will guarantee his safety when he comes back to the country to continue his trial.
On his part, counsel for the Federal Government, Labaran Shuaibu, told the court that he was just seeing the process, opposed the application. Shuaibu urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable them file the necessary processes, in response to the application.
Delivering her ruling, Justice Nyako, who adjourned the matter till January 16, 2020, said the only way he could guarantee Kanu’s safety was to keep him in the prison. She said even judges are no longer safe in the country.
She said, “even judges are being abducted in the country. So prison is the only safest place for him”. According to reports, Justice Nyako had ordered the re-arrest of the self-proclaimed leader of IPOB, Kanu. She gave the order in a ruling after revoking the bail granted to Kanu.
She explained that the court gave the order because Kanu had failed to appear in court after his bail was granted in April 2017.
The judge also ordered that trial would continue in the absence of the IPOB leader and directed that a bench warrant be issued for his re-arrest.
It would be recalled that Justice Nyako had granted Kanu bail on health grounds on April 25, 2017, and asked him to present three sureties, one of whom must be a serving senator, a Jewish religious leader and a highly respected person who must own a landed property in Abuja.
The judge warned the IPOB leader against granting press interviews, holding rallies or being in a gathering of more than 10 persons while on bail.
She had also warned him that the bail would be revoked if he flouted any of the conditions.