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FEDERAL HIGH COURT REFUSES TO REVOKE ARREST WARRANT AGAINST NNAMDI KANU

FEDERAL HIGH COURT REFUSES TO REVOKE ARREST WARRANT AGAINST NNAMDI KANU

The  Federal High Court sitting  in Abuja has  refused to revoke a warrant of arrest issued against the  self acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

The arrest warrant was issued against Kanu on March 28, 2019 following his alleged dramatic disappearance from Nigeria to unknown destination.

Ruling in a motion on notice asking for revocation of the arrest warrant upon his re-arrest, the Presiding  Justice Binta Nyako held that the motion lacked merit because Kanu had not explained his whereabouts for over two years when he jumped bail.

Justice Nyako  dismissed Kanu’s claims that he was denied fair hearing because the order for his arrest was issued in his absence.

The Court  held that Kanu was adequately represented in court when the Federal Government applied for the warrant of arrest and that his surety, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was also in court.

Justice Nyako averred  that Kanu who jumped bail granted him on health ground cannot turn around to make allegations of lack of fair hearing.

The Court  while dismissing the motion upheld the arrest warrant against the self acclaimed IPOB leader.

Kanu, in the application filed before Justice Nyako by his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, had prayed for an order setting aside the order made on March 28, 2019, directing for his arrest and continuation of his trial in absentia.

Justice Nyako had, on March 28, 2019, revoked the bail of Kanu, ordered his arrest and directed that his trial should continue in his absence.

The Judge ruled that the court gave the order because Kanu failed to appear in court after his bail was granted on April 25, 2017, and this followed an application by the prosecution.

The IPOB leader was first arrested in October 2015 for demanding the separation of Nigeria from Biafra.

He was granted bail on health grounds and was asked to present three sureties, one of whom must be a serving senator, a Jewish religious leader and a highly respected person who must own a landed property in Abuja.

The judge, then, warned him against granting press interviews, holding rallies or being in a gathering of more than 10 persons while on bail.

However, in September 2017, Kanu reportedly went missing and stopped attending court proceedings, while alleging that he decided to flee the country following an invasion of his family residence in Umuahia, Abia by security operatives.

Kanu’s disappearance stalled his trial which he was jointly undergoing along with his co-defendants.

With the development, the judge severed his trial from that of other co-defendants to stop further delay in the others’ cases

 However, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, SAN in June 2021, announced that the IPOB leader had been “intercepted” and returned to Nigeria.

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