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Court strikes out Kanu’s suit challenging secret trial of terrorism cases

Court strikes out Kanu’s suit challenging secret trial of terrorism cases
October 07
15:15 2022

A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a suit instituted by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), challenging the court’s new practice directions which approved the secret conduct of terrorism trials.

According to the new guidelines issued in April 2022, terrorism proceedings will be conducted in secret, except when the chief judge of the court grants permission for media coverage.

“Proceedings of offences of terrorism, subject to the provisions of Section 232 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and section 34 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 (as amended), shall be held in camera or as may be ordered by the court,” the document reads.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/550/2022, Kanu, who is facing treasonable felony charges, said the new guidelines are illegal, unconstitutional and ought to be declared null and void

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John Tsoho, chief judge of the federal high court, and the chief registrar of the court were cited as defendants in the suit.

At Friday’s proceedings, when the hearing was to commence, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s counsel, announced that his client was no longer interested in continuing with the suit.

Ejiofor subsequently applied that the matter is struck out.

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Accordingly, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, struck out the suit.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the court session, the lawyer explained that the decision to withdraw the case stemmed from the discovery that the policy was not targeted at his client.

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