- Nnamdi Kanu now faces 5-count charge, as court yesterday, quashes 6 charges against him
- court fixes March 20 for full blown trial
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, yesterday, struck-out the 6 of the 11-count criminal charges the Federal Government preferred against the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and 3 other pro-Biafra agitators.
In a ruling delivered by Justice Binta Nyako, The Court said the fact “that IPOB was not an organization registered in Nigeria did not make it an illegal society”.
Justice Nyako held that the Federal Government failed to prove that IPOB allegedly managed by Kanu and his co-defendants – Chjidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, is an unlawful society.
Justice Nyako said the six charges she struck out were not supported by the proof of evidence the prosecution adduced against the defendants, adding that none of the six charges established a Prima-Facie criminal case against the defendants.
Whereas the court branded some of the terminated charges as “hollow” and “scanty”, it however sustained five other charges against the defendants.
For instance, the court noted that the Federal Government failed to produce any evidence to support allegation in court nine of the charge that the 2nd defendant, Onwudiwe, as National Coordinator of IPOB and the 4th defendant, Nwawuisi, who was serving as MTN Field Maintenance Engineer in Enugu State, conspired to install Radio Biafra transmitters on MTN masts sited at Ogui Road, near St. Michael Catholic Church, Enugu, having agreed for the payment and receipt of 150, 000 Naira.
So also was allegation that Onuwdiwe committed an act preparatory to an act of terrorism by carrying out research for the purpose of identifying and gathering improvised explosive devices, IEDs, making materials to be used against Nigerian security operatives carrying out their lawful duties.
According to Justice Nyako, the Federal Government ought to have charged Onwudiwe before a Magistrate Court over his alleged intention to commit an act of terrorism.
She said the F.G did not establish any ingredient of crime in its allegation that Kanu had between March and April 2015, imported into Nigeria, a radio transmitter known as TRAM 50L and kept it in a container that was left in custody of the 3rd defendant, Madubugwu, at Ubuluisiuzor in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, Nigeria.
Nnamdi Kanu still have cases to answer
The court, however, held that Kanu has a case to answer pertaining to allegation in court-four that he declared the radio transmitter which was concealed in a container as unused household items.
Whereas the court struck out counts 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11 of the charge. It however, sustained counts 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8.
The sustained charges, to which all the defendants entered a fresh plea of not guilty yesterday, involved conspiracy, treasonable felony, publication of defamatory matter and Kanu’s alleged importation of goods contrary and punishable under section 47(2) (A) of the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.