A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday rescheduled the trial of the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from January 19 to 18, 2022.
The shift in the trial date followed the abridgement of time granted by the Judge following a passionate plea to that effect.
Kanu’s lead lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor had approached the Court with an application seeking an order of the Court to accommodate the trial in November and December this year as against the earlier January 19, 2022.
The prosecuting Attorney of the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran, however, told the Court that a counter affidavit opposing the request by the government has been filled and served on Kanu.
The presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako however informed Kanu’s lawyer that the application for time abridgement cannot be granted because there was no judicial time for such an issue.
During the drama that ensued, the case diary of the Court was read to the lawyer to establish that the Court has crowded pending cases, Punch reported.
Following the insistence, Justice Nyako agreed to shift other cases slated for January 18 to accommodate the trial which would last till January 19 and 20.
Meanwhile Justice Nyako ordered the Department of State Services to allow Kanu to practice his faith, change his clothes and be given the maximum possible comfort in the detention facility.
Barrister Aloy Ejimakor, a Special Counsel to Kanu, disclosed this while giving an insight into what transpired during hearing on Wednesday.
According to Ejimakor the court stated, “That Mazi Kanu be given maximum comfort possible in the detention facility. That he be allowed a change of clothing.”
In a statement signed by the lawyer, he noted that during the hearing, there was a total absence of security operatives in court and around the outer perimeters as was the case during previous proceedings.
Also, Ejimakor stated that Mazi Kanu was not in court and there was no officer from the Department of State Service to explain why. However, from what he surmised, both the court and the DSS might have concluded that his presence in court was not strictly required in the sort of application that was moved in court today.
The lawyer also claimed that the court did not grant Kanu’s legal team the leave to move their application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to continue the trial.
The statement further read, “Recall that we had filed such application, arguing that the extraordinary rendition of Kanu constitutes a constitutional barrier to his trial. The court ruled that the application was not calendared for hearing today. That it will be heard at the next adjourned date.
“The court, after going through what it said is a tight judicial calendar, moved the date of the next hearing backwards from 19th to 18th January 2022. The court ruled that it will entertain all outstanding applications at the next hearing date, and proceeded to make the following Orders: That Mazi Kanu be given maximum comfort possible in the detention facility. That he be allowed a change of clothing.”
More so, the lawyer noted that the court gave the IPOB leader the nod to practice his Jewish faith.
Ejimakor further noted, “That he be allowed free practice of his Jewish faith including access to his Jewish religious materials. That the DSS obey all previous orders granted in the matter, including allowing Kanu any visitor of his choice. That Kanu be permitted, at his option, to mingle freely with other inmates or any other persons at the detention facility.”