Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday adjourned till January 19, 2021, the trial of detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
But there was confusion as Kanu’s team of lawyers staged a walkout over the refusal of operatives of the Department of State Services to allow some of them to gain access into the courtroom.
Kanu, who was brought into the courtroom around 9.52am, had shortly after his case was called up bemoaned the refusal of security agents to allow some members of his legal team, especially his lawyer from the United State of America, Bruce Fein, to enter the courtroom.
He told Justice Nyako that Fein, who was handling a case for him in the US, was around to witness his trial.
“I have an ongoing case in the US. I have not been allowed to see him. He is here to see me and to observe the proceedings.
“He has been to the DSS to see me, but they denied him access to me,” Kanu stated from the dock.
When asked by the Judge, if he was ready to conduct the proceedings himself, in the absence of his lawyers, Kanu said no.
Meanwhile, counsel for the Federal Government and Director of Public Prosecution, M. D. Abubakar, urged the court to proceed with the trial in the absence of Kanu’s lawyers.
He told the court that the matter was fixed for the hearing of an application that was filed by the defendant.
Abubakar argued that since Kanu’s lead counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who was initially inside the courtroom, walked out with his team shortly before the arrival of the judge, his pending application should be deemed abandoned.
Delivering a short ruling, Justice Nyako expressed displeasure over the conduct of Kanu’s lawyers.
She declined to dismiss the pending application and rather adjourned the case till January 19 and 20, 2022, for trial.■
Author: Friday OLOKOR [The Punch]