By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was, on Tuesday, granted bail on health reasons in an Abuja Federal High Court 4 presided over by Justice Binta Nyako.
Nyako, however, denied bail to three other pro-Biafra agitators, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, that were arraigned with Kanu, stressing that the treason charges against them is a serious offence.
“Treasonable felony – the charges against them – is a serious offence against the state,” Nyako said.
Kanu’s bail, which was the first since the commencement of his trial for alleged treason, however, did not come with easy conditions.
Kanu (left) and Fayose (right) sitting in court during Kanu’s trial
Nyako, who gave the order to allow Kanu attend to his ailing health condition, ordered that Kanu is to produce three sureties with N100 million each.
The judge also said that Kanu is also expected to not be among a crowd, adding that he must never be seen in a crowd of more than 10 people.
Kanu was also ordered never to grant any interviews to the press, pending the outcome of his trial.
“No interviews, and no rallies,” Nyako said.
The IPOB leader is also expected to provide three sureties, one of whom must be a serving senator, a Jewish religious leader, and highly respected person, who own land anywhere in Abuja.
Nyako made it clear that Kanu’s bail will be revoked, if any of the orders are flouted.
Also, Nyako refused Kanu’s application to vary her previous order on protecting witnesses in the matter.
Nyako said that the witnesses, who have been identified as security operatives, cannot be exposed in the course of the trial.
She, however, held that the witnesses will be identified with alphabets during the trial.
Fayose, Chidoka Identify With Kanu
The duo of the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, and former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, appeared in the Federal High Court 4, on Tuesday, in solidarity with the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, during his resumed trial.
The Governor, who was allowed easy entry sat at the Court 4.
But there was mild drama in the Court as a former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) was prevented from witnessing the Court’s ruling.
Chidoka (in red cap) flanked by lawyers, after Kanu’s trial
After Kanu’s trial, Chidoka took to his Facebook account to explain his presence in the Court.
“I was at the Federal High Court Abuja to observe the court proceedings on Nnamdi Kanu’s case. The Court granted him bail on medical grounds. This is step in the right direction as the country struggles to heal from self-inflicted and needless injury.
“I belong to a Post-Civil war generation of Ndi Igbo unburdened by our past and hopeful of a future where no man is oppressed. My presence in Court is to affirm that belief and generational burden,” he wrote.
Security Personnel Bar Journalists
Meanwhile, journalists were barred from covering the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
This was against the earlier judgement by the presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako, who ruled that the trial should not be secret.
The street leading to the Federal Capital High Court 4 was being barricaded by the officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Department Of State Services (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and officials of the Nigeria Prisons Services (NPS).
The trial went on without media coverage.
It would be recalled that the Court had, on April 6, fixed Tuesday, April 25 to deliver ruling in the application for variation of the order of court on protection of witnesses in the case against Kanu.
Kanu, through his defence counsels, led by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, asked the Court to set aside the order made on December 13, 2016 for the protection of witnesses.
Kanu’s lawyers argued that having been acquitted of the charges of terrorism and importation of weapons, the defendants cannot be tried with the identities of witnesses based on Section 36(6) of the 1999 Constitution.
However, counsel to the Federal Government, Suleiman Labaran, in a counter affidavit, urged the Court to dismiss the application as a ploy to delay the trial.
It would be recalled that that Kanu was charged alongside Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi on charges of treasonable felony and criminal defamation.
The Federal High Court had, on March 2, struck-out six out of the 11-count criminal charges the Federal Government preferred against the detained leader of IPOB and three other pro-Biafra agitators, Onwudiwe, Madubugwu and Nwawuisi.
Fayose (in red cap) witnessing Kanu’s trial
The Court, in the ruling delivered by Nyako, had also said that the fact that IPOB was not an organisation registered in Nigeria, it however did not make it an illegal society.
“It may be true that IPOB is not registered in Nigeria, but does that make it an illegal organisation?” the judge queried.
Nyako held that the Federal Government failed to prove that IPOB, allegedly managed by Kanu and his co-defendants - Onwudiwe, Madubugwu and Nwawuisi, is an unlawful society.
It would also be recalled that Kanu had, on February last year, opposed the application by the Federal Government to conduct his trial in secret.
FG had, in the application it filed before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, decried that all the witnesses billed to testify against Kanu and the other defendants, who are facing trial with him, have declined to appear in Court.