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‘A joke taken too far’ — Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer kicks against FG’s fresh terrorism charge

‘A joke taken too far’ — Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer kicks against FG’s fresh terrorism charge
January 18
09:03 2022

Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has faulted the fresh terrorism charge filed by the federal government against the separatist leader.

TheCable had reported that the federal government added eight counts to the previous terrorism charges filed against Kanu.

In October 2021, the IPOB leader was arraigned on a seven-count charge but he will now face a 15-count charge bordering on terrorism.

Kanu is expected to appear in court today for the continuation of his trial.

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Reacting to the fresh terrorism charge, Ejiofor, in a statement, said the federal government is scouting for an opportunity to truncate the court proceedings today.

The lead counsel said the amended charge is the “worst kind of abuse of legal process”, adding that it was aimed at “needlessly prolonging proceedings in the cause”.

“This is indeed a joke taken too far as the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is now scouting for an opportunity to truncate tomorrow’s proceeding, knowing fully well that the smokescreen charge is dead on arrival,” the statement reads.

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“We wish to categorically point out with dismay, that this further amended charge is the worst kind of abuse of legal process that we have encountered in the history of legal practice – either in Nigeria or anywhere in the world.

“This 15-count amended charge was no doubt brought in bad faith and is aimed at needlessly prolonging proceedings in the cause. The same FGN that brought our client to court is needlessly initiating processes that will delay the trial.

“It is worthy to note that an amended 7-count charge had earlier been filed against Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu since October 2021, pursuant to which a preliminary objection was raised against this 7-count amended charge.

“The parties have fully filed and exchanged processes and arguments on the objection, and the same has been set down for hearing.

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“Brazenly, a day before the hearing date, and without affording the court the opportunity to listen to arguments on the objection, and take a decision on the objection raised one way or the other.

“The prosecution, in utter bad faith, filed a further amended charge to supercede and supplant the earlier amended charge on which issues have been joined on the objection raised against it. This is indeed, the worst kind of abuse of court process.

“Although the prosecution has the liberty to amend a charge, it cannot exercise that prerogative to abuse the process of the court, or to supplant an objection that has been raised against an earlier amendment, which has not been decided on, or to overreach the defence, or to render nugatory or as a fait accompli, the decision of the court on a pending preliminary objection against an amended charge that is yet to be determined.

“Nevertheless, we herein assure UmuChineke that we have already devised a solution to every of their antics, it will only end in court, they can only run thus far. We therefore, urge you all to await the legal fireworks in court tomorrow. There must be light at the end of the tunnel.”

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