Again, Court Denies Nnamdi Kanu Bail

…Says Application, Abuse Of Court Process

Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, turned down the bail request by the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

Justice Nyako, in turning down the bail application, described it as an abuse of court process, stating that the court cannot continue to litigate on issues it had earlier ruled on.

Kanu had, in a fresh application, prayed the court to release him on bail, pending the determination of his trial on alleged treasonable felony.

Onyendu Kanu, who is standing trial on a seven-count charge of alleged treasonable felony, pleaded not guilty to the charge, following which his lead lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged the court to admit him to bail.

He was first arraigned in 2016 alongside four others and was admitted to bail on health ground.

The court had released him in 2017 after he secured a bail bond of N100 million with three sureties in like sum.

He however jumped the bail after soldiers invaded his family house in Abia State in late 2017 and fled the country.

His absence forced the court to separate his trial from the four others.

However, Kanu, last year was rearrested and repatriated to Nigeria in controversial circumstance, to continue his trial.

On resumption of the trial, he had asked the court to release him again on bail to enable him prepare adequately for his trial.

He claimed that conditions at the Department of State Services (DSS), where he is been held in custody since his repatriation to Nigeria, were inhumane, adding that he is being denied access to his lawyer.

In arguing the bail, Ozekhome stated that Kanu did not jump bail but had to escape the onslaught of soldiers who had killed several persons during the raid of Kanu’s family house in September 2017.

He therefore urged the court to set aside the revocation of the bail earlier granted the applicant.

But in its ruling in the fresh application on Tuesday, the court held that it was not satisfied with the reason Kanu gave for his failure to appear in court for continuation of his trial.

The trial judge noted that records of the court showed that the applicant was represented by his lawyer on the day his bail was revoked.

“In fact, the sureties told the court that they did not know the whereabouts of the defendant and even applied to be discharged from the matter.

“Therefore, the defendant was not denied fair hearing,” he said.

While noting that a court could vacate a previous order when confronted with a cogent and verifiable reason, the judge stated that in the instant case, she has not been given any reason why she should set aside the order.

“The present application amounts to an abuse of court process for attempting to relitigate an issue already decided by the court,” she held, adding that Kanu should go on appeal if dissatisfied.

“This application is accordingly dismissed,” Justice Nyako held.

The court had, also on March 18, declined to grant a similar request.

The court maintained that Kanu must explain the reason why he breached the previous bail that was given to him, before he could enjoy another favourable discretion from it.

“Until the issue of the absence of the defendant for his trial, with all the bail conditions breached is determined, the instant application of the defendant for bail will at best be premature and it is refused.

“However, the defendant is at liberty to re-file the application,” Justice Nyako added.

The judge subsequently adjourned till November 14, 2022.


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