Legal Nigeria

Kanu spots same attire for trial despite Judge’s order

Contrary to Tuesday’s directive by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja that detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu be allowed to change his clothes, he returned to court on Wednesday with old attire he has been wearing since he was brought back into the country mid-last year.

Upon complaint by his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) that he was denied the opportunity to change clothes, Justice Nyako had, on Tuesday, directed the State Security Service (SSS), the agency, with which he was being detained, to allow him to change his clothes.

He however appeared in the same clothes when he was produced in court a little over 10am on Wednesday with the prosecuting lawyer, Magaji Labaran claiming the defendant refused to change his clothes.

“My lord, based on your order yesterday, we provided the defendant with a new orthopedic mattress, pillows and blankets.

“As for his appearance, he chose to wear this particular one because he said that it is a designer apparel.”

Responding, Ozekhome “My lord what happened was that by the time proceedings ended yesterday and because it was not his visiting day, we were not able to pass to him some clothes we obtained for him.

“We even discussed it with him this morning and he said that on the next visiting day he would want to have the new clothes.”

Ozekhome hailed the SSS for providing his client with new mattresses and pillows, saying: “I want to commend the SSS and the court for ensuring that it was done.”

The judge subsequently interjected and insisted that the defendant should appear subsequently in new clothes.

Ozekhome subsequently indicated the defendant’s readiness to take his plea in respect of the amended charge, following which the judge directed an official of the court to read the charge to the defendant.

The 15-count amended terrorism charge is currently being read.

The prosecution brought into the courtroom bundles of documents and compact disks, indicating its readiness to commence trial today.

Meanwhile, the security situation in around the court remains the same as it was yesterday.

Armed SSS and police personnel have taken over security in and around the court’s premises.

Adjoining streets to the court are deserted as security agents cordoned off the streets, restricting vehicular and human movements.

Lawyers and other litigants, who have businesses in the court, are subjected to rigorous screening before they could be allowed in, a development that many are not happy about.