25th August, 2017
The Federal Government has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking the revocation of the bail of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The application was to send Kanu back to jail was contained in a statement released on Friday in Abuja by Mr Salihu Isah, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Minister of Justice.
In the application, the Federal Government is seeking an order of court revoking the bail granted Kanu on April 25.
The government is also seeking an order of court directing the arrest and committing Kanu to custody pending trial as well as any such order the court may deem fit in the circumstance.
The application which has the name of the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr Shuaibu Labaran, explained that the call for revocation of Kanu’s bail was on the grounds that Kanu had breached his bail conditions.
“The 1st defendant (Kanu) is standing trial for alleged offences of conspiracy to commit acts of treasonable felony and other related offences before this court.
“The offence for which he is standing trial is not ordinarily bailable but due to the magnanimity of the court and its quest for justice and fairness, he was granted bail on health grounds.
“Among the other conditions for his bail is that he should not be seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people and he should not grant any interviews, hold or attend any rallies.
“And that he should file in court, medical updates of his health status every month. But rather than observing all of the conditions listed above, Kanu, in flagrant disobedience to the court order, flouted all conditions of the bail.”
According to the government, Kanu has in furtherance to the offence he was charged, inaugurated Biafra Security Service adding that such an act was a grave threat to national security and unity of the country.
An affidavit deposed to by Loveme Odubo, a litigation clerk in the Ministry of Justice, claimed that Kanu held a rally at his residence in his hometown, Afara-UkwuIbeku in Umuahia, Abia.
And that the rally, with a crowd exceeding 10 persons, was captured in a video published on June 1 and circulated around the country through the internet platform of YouTube.
He further deposed that the bail granted Kanu was to enable him take care of his health and not for any other purpose.
In a written address attached to the application, the government wants the court to determine whether the defendant violated the bail conditions set by the court to warrant the revocation of same.
Kanu is standing trial along with Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Bright Chimezie on allegations of treasonable felony.
Justice Binta Nyako had on April 25, admitted Kanu to bail on stringent conditions, but had denied bail to the other defendants standing trial with him.
The matter was adjourned until July 11 for trial but could not go on because the court commenced its annual vacation on July 10 and a new date of Oct. 17 was fixed for commencement of trial.
However, in a swift reaction, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to Kanu, told the News Agency of Nigeria in a telephone interview, that it was not in the powers of the Federal Government to ask the court to revoke his client’s bail.
“It does not lie in the powers of the prosecution (the Federal Government) to ask the court to revoke the bail. The court is at liberty to listen to both sides before it can take its decision.”
Ejiofor said it was regrettable that rather than be concerned about ensuring that the matter was heard to its logical conclusion the prosecution was more interested in sending his client back to jail.
He said the defence would officially release its position on the issue of revocation of the bail by August 28.