By Philips Sunday
Abuja, (AN24) – The secret trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of Radio Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has commenced at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja amidst tight security.
Recall that the Biafran leader was abruptly suspended on December 13, 2016 after he and other defendants angrily challenged the court’s decision to allow the use of “protected” witnesses.
The presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako, had ruled on December 13, 2016 that witnesses would be allowed some degree of protection.
“The counsels and the defendants will see the witnesses. The witnesses will have special entrances to and outside the court,” Justice Binta ruled.
Speaking further, Justice Binta ruled that the court would allow the witnesses to be shielded with screen-guards, adding that the court would set aside two days for rehearsals on how the witnesses will come into the court and depart from the court.
At the resume of proceedings today, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, the ruling was enforced with screen-guards shielding the judge, defendant and witnesses from the rest of the court.
The trial today is holding under tight security as a large number of armed security officers comprising mainly of mobile police officers and operatives of the State Security Service gathered in front of the court on Tuesday, while court security personnel barred journalists from entering the building.
Meanwhile, some journalists were later allowed in after Mr. Kanu’s lawyer intervened.
Kanu alongside his co-accused, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi are facing an eleven-count charge of treasonable felony, brought against them by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Although they have been granted bail twice by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government has refused to obey the court orders raising doubts over the possibility of Mr. Kanu and his co-accused regaining freedom anytime soon.