Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), says he is ready to face trial in Nigeria if his safety is guaranteed by the court.
Kanu spoke through Ifeanyi Ejiofor, his counsel, on Thursday, at the federal high court in Abuja.
Ejiofor told the court that they had filed an application to restore the IPOB leader’s bail so he could continue his trial.
“We have an application for bail filed on April 1, 2019. The application was served on the prosecution and it is due for hearing,” he said,
“We urge the court to restore his bail on the ground that the court will guarantee his safety when he comes back to the country to continue his trial.”
Labaran Shuaibu, counsel to the Federal Government, told the court that he had just seen the application, and he opposed it. Shuaibu asked the court to adjourn the matter to enable him to file the necessary processes.
Binta Nyako, the judge, said the only way he could guarantee Kanu’s safety was to keep him in prison. She said even judges are no longer safe in the country.
“Even judges are being abducted in the country. So prison is the only safest place for him,” she said.
The judge adjourned the matter till January 16, 2020.
The court had ordered the arrest of Kanu for jumping bail.
It also revoked the bail, which it granted the IPOB leader in 2017, and held that the trial will continue even in his absence.
Kanu is facing charges of treason. He escaped to London after soldiers attacked his family’s residence in Umuahia.
Reacting yesterday, rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) said Justice Nyako’s statement clearly captured the state of insecurity in the country.
Regardless, its Board Chairman,Emeka Umeagbalasi, said the justice went went too far in her utterances concerning the status of Nnamdi Kanu’s bail.
According to him, she was personal and made un-judge-like assertions.
“Her statement as being quoted in open media also constituted a threat to Mr. Kanu’s right to life. May be she is privy to possible state harm likely being plotted against him in foreign land.
“Maybe to forestall that, the Judge now feels that Kanu should be safely kept in the prison so as to escape being harmed in his foreign abode by the State. Maybe. Just maybe.
“All said, the Judge sentimentally over-reacted if she truly said those as quoted.”