ABUJA – An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday, ordered the immediate transfer of one of the defendants, Bright Chimezie, whom was recently joined in the ongoing trial of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and three others, from the detention facility of the Department of State Services, DSS, to Kuje prisons.
The ruling was made following an oral application by Chimezie’s defence counsel, Barrister Chukwudi Igwe who noted that his client has been in DSS detention since his arrest in 2016, despite ruling for his unconditional release by an Uyo High Court.
Chimezie whom has formally joined the suit in the amended charges by the federal government, now replaces the position of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, consequent upon the severance of his charges from other defendants at the previous session.
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The amended charges on which the four defendants freshly pleaded not guilty, is bordering on illegal importation of firearms and conspiracy to commit treasonable felony against the Nigerian State.
Lawyer to the IPOB leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, pleaded for an adjournment to peruse and/or study the fresh amended charges filed by government’s counsel even as he argued that the amendment was filed in the morning of today’s sitting, contrary to the directive of the court that it be filed two weeks before the proceedings.
According to Ejiofor, “It is quite clear that the federal government is not ready for this case as their lawyers just served us this morning in a bid to ambush us the defence lawyers with the amended charges and we are going to respond tomorrow so we are coming to the court next tomorrow Thursday.”
At today’s proceedings, the Prosecution counsel, Labaran Shuaibu notified the court of his readiness to present witnesses during its resumed hearing on Thursday, to testify against the defendants.
However, during an interaction with our Correspondent, Kanu’s lawyer assured that the newly amended charges would not see the light of the day as parties billed to testify against the IPOB leader is not in any way connected to the rest of the defendants.
He pointed out that the amended charges are dead on arrival hence the court cannot admit testimonies against individuals who are not party to the case.
He also added that they intend to file fresh bail applications for the release of the four defendants on a resumed hearing on Thursday.
By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
THE BIAFRA TIMES