Lawyers to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday staged a walkout of a Federal High Court, Abuja in protest of the refusal of the operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) to allow some of the lawyers into the courtroom.
Kanu is currently facing charges bordering on treason and other related charges levelled against him by the federal government of Nigeria.
Today’s proceedings was characterized by the protest of the lawyers. Shortly after he was brought into the courtroom around 9:52am, Kanu protested the refusal of security agents to allow some members of his legal team, to enter the courtroom.
One of his lawyers from the the United State of America, Bruce Fein was stopped at the entrance by the operatives. The IPOB leader who was in the dock told the court that Mr. Fein was handling a case for him in the US, and came around to witness his trial.
He said, “I have an ongoing case in the US. I have not been allowed to see him. He is here to see me and to observe the proceedings. He has been to the DSS to see me, but they denied him access to me”,
Asked by the Judge, if he was ready to conduct the proceedings himself, in the absence of his lawyers, Kanu replied in the negative.
Meanwhile, counsel to the Federal government, Mr. M. D. Abubakar, who is the Director of Public Prosecution, urged the court to proceed with the trial in the absence of Kanu’s lawyers.
Abubakar told the court that ordinarily, the matter was fixed for hearing of an application that was filed by the Defendant. He argued that since Kanu’s lead counsel, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who was initially inside the courtroom, walked out with his team shortly before the arrival of the judge, his pending application should be deemed abandoned.
In a short ruling, though Justice Nyako expressed his displeasure over the conduct of Kanu’s lawyers, she declined to dismiss the pending application and rather adjourned the case till January 19 and 20, 2022, for trial.