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IPOB leader, Kanu, to face only 5 charges as full trial begins March 20



IPOB leader, Kanu, to face only 5 charges as full trial begins March 20

By its ruling of Wednesday, the Federal High Court Abuja, presided over by Justice Binta Nyako, is now set to try Nnamdi Kanu, self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on a 5-count charge as against the 11 earlier preferred by the Federal Government.

The full blown trial is now scheduled to commence March 20.

Detained since October 2015 for leading a non-violent campaign for creation of a sovereign state of Biafra, the Federal Government has refused to grant Kanu bail even after multiple courts had ruled in his favour.

At its Wednesday sitting, trial Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, had struck-out 6 out of the 11-count criminal charges on the grounds that they were not supported by the proof of evidence the prosecution adduced against the defendants.

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Justice Nyako, in her ruling, said there was no evidence before the court to prove that IPOB which was allegedly managed by the defendants, was an unlawful society.

The court, however, resolved to go ahead with the other 5 charges against Kanu and three others namely Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.

The 5 charges, to which all the defendants entered a fresh plea of not guilty, border 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.

On Tuesday, two prominent Nigerians namely Charles Soludo, former Governor of the Central Bank (CBN) and Pat Utomi, a renowned economist, joined calls for the immediate release of Kanu and others while condemning the killing of IPOB members in the Southeast.

Both had made the demands under the umbrella of Nzuko Umunna.

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