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Court denies Pro-Biafra leader, Nnamdi Kanu bail

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An Abuja High Court has denied bail demand to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and director of Radio Biafra. 

Founder of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, during his appearance on treasonable charges at the Federal High Court, Abuja

The Federal High Court, Abuja has denied bail demand to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and director of Radio Biafra. 

The court reasoned that Kanu was a threat to national security, and that if released he might commit the same offence again.

The court, however, ordered accelerated hearing into the treason charges proffered on him by the Department of State Security [DSS].

Justice Tsoho also argued that there was a probability that he might jump bail because he possessed dual citizenship. 

Arguing for Kanu’s release, Nnoruka Udechukwu, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) urged the court to release him, stating that the offence he was alleged to have committed was bailable.

Udechukwu argued that the Criminal Justice Act, 2015, stipulated bail for anyone not accused of a capital offence. 

He said that the offence of which Kanu was accused was a “civil rights” issue, adding that the right to agitate is guaranteed in a democracy. 

Kanu leaving the court

“The right to agitate is inherent in a democracy. 

“People must not be denied of their rights to protest by way of being kept in custody,” he said. 

“If national security was a ground to throw people into detention, the Criminal Justice Act would have said so.”

On his part, counsel to the federal government, Mohammed Diri said he was “seriously opposed to this application.” 

He argued that the application did not fulfil certain conditions spelt out in section 162 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015. 

Diri said that Kanu might jump bail if released because according to his statement to DSS he is a British citizen. 

“He sneaked into this country. He didn’t enter the country the proper way. He may sneak out,” he said. 

“I urge this court to refuse this application and order for accelerated hearing.” 

In the meantime, Kanu is to remain in Kuje prison where he is being detained. 

Kanu alongside Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi is facing a six-count charge of treasonable felony. 

The trial begins on February 9, 2016.

It could be recalled that citizen Kanu had on December 23, 2015, refused to take his plea before Ahmed Mohammed, justice of the federal high court, Abuja, citing lack of confidence in the court. 

Earlier, Adeniyi Ademola, another justice of the federal high court, Abuja, ordered the DSS to release him unconditionally.

That was after a chief magistrate court discharged and acquitted him of charges of criminal intimidation and management of an unlawful society. 

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