The Oasis Reporters
March 2, 2017
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday sustained five charges against the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu but nevertheless struck out six of the 11 charges brought against him by the federal government.
The dismissed charges bordered on “ownership of unlawful society, illegal importation of radio transmitters and researching on how to make improvised explosive devices”.
Justice Nyako, in a ruling, held that the charges were not supported by the proof of evidence adduced against the defendants by the prosecution and there was no evidence before the court to prove that IPOB, which was allegedly managed by the defendants, was an unlawful society.
Those joined with Kanu are other pro-Biafra agitators named by the court as Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi. They however entered a fresh plea of not guilty to the sustained charges.
The charges are based on 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.
In the third count of the remaining charges, the federal government alleged that Kanu had in a broadcast made in London on April 28, 2015, through Radio Biafra, referred to President Muhammadu Buhari as “a paedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil”.
Meanwhile, the court has fixed March 20 and 21 for the commencement of full-blown trial of the defendants.
A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Prof. Pat Utomi and some Igbo leaders had on Tuesday called for the immediate release of Kanu.
Describing the trial of the detained leaders of IPOB as persecution, they called on the federal government to release him for the sake of engineering a new Nigeria.
Both Soludo and Utomi are seen as being pro Buhari in their utterances.