The Federal High Court has commenced the implementation of its Practice Directions on Trial of Terrorism Cases 2022.
Under the new rules, proceedings of offences of terrorism are to be held in camera.
This is however subject to the provisions of Section 232 of ACJA 2015 and Section 34 of Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011.
The new rules of Court stipulates that the names, addresses, telephone numbers and identity of the victims of such offences or witnesses shall not be disclosed in any record or report of the proceedings.
The rules are however silent on the disclosure or otherwise of the identity of the defendant.
Under the new rule,witnesses can mask while testifying before the Court.
Specifically, order 4 of the Practice Directions strictly prohibits coverage of proceedings of the trial of terrorism offences, save as otherwise directed by the court.
It was however not clear if the new rules of court were responsible for the stylish denial of access to the court by 98 percent of the accredited journalists for the coverage of the ruling of the Court on the preliminary objection of Nnamdi Kanu over his trial on the fifteen counts which the Court has reduced to seven.