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LATEST: Nnamdi Kanu Rejects Secrets Trial, Heads To Court

Nnamdi Kanu, the arrested leader of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has stated that he does not want his terrorist trial at the Federal High Court to be held in private.

This was revealed in an originating summons issued by his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, to oppose the court’s practice instruction.

Justice John Tsoho, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, has issued a new practice directive for the trial of terrorist matters before the court, according to Anaedoonline.ng.

High Court Moves Nnamdi Kanu’s Case To CCT, Orders Secret Trial In Terrorism Charges

According to the judge, the new practice instruction mandates that the trials of Bureau de Change agents charged with terrorist sponsorship and Boko Haram suspects in court be conducted in private.

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The judge stated that the new practice directive was issued in the execution of his constitutional rights, which are embodied in Section 254 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The new directive, according to Justice Tsoho, restricts media coverage during hearings.

Kanu, on the other hand, filed a lawsuit on Monday in which he rejected the Federal High Court’s new practice directive in its entirety and requested the court to declare it unlawful, null, and worthless.

The IPOB leader, who named Justice Tsoho and the Chief Registrar of the IPOB court as defendants in the lawsuit, said that the presiding judge neglected to seek and acquire the consent of the Federal Executive Council before imposing the new policy direction.

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According to Kanu, the new practice direction on the trial of terrorism cases was already the subject of Section 36 (4)(a) and (b) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

He also wants the court to restrain the defendants, whether by themselves, servants, agents, privies, and all other officers and agents of the Federal High Court of Nigeria from applying and enforcing the court’s practice direction.

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Other reliefs sought by the IPOB leader include, “A declaration that the failure of the 1st defendant to first seek and obtain the approval of the Federal Executive Council (or the National Council of Ministers) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria prior to enacting the Federal High Court Practice Directions (on Trials of Terrorism Cases), 2022, as required by Section 44 of the Federal High Court Act renders the Federal High Court Practice Direction (On Trial of Terrorism Cases) 2022, ultra vires, null and void.

“A declaration that Order III Rules 3(b) and (d) of the Federal High Court Practice Directions (On Trials of Terrorism Cases) 2022, which respectively empower a Federal High Court trying terrorism cases “to receive evidence by video link, and to receive written deposition of expert witness” are inconsistent with Items 23 and 68 of the Exclusive Legislative List as well as Paragraph 2(b) of Part III of the 2nd Schedule to the Constitution which confers on the National Assembly the exclusive power to make rules of evidence, both substantive and adjectival and are therefore ultra vires, null and void to the extent of the inconsistency.

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“A declaration that Order IV Rule 2 of the Federal High Court Practice Direction (on Trial of Terrorism Cases) 2022, which provides that a person who contravenes an order or direction made under these Directions shall be deemed to have committed an offence contrary to Section 34(5) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011, (as amended) isotiose and inoperative because the National Assembly had already covered the field vide Section 34(5) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, as amended.

“A declaration that the rule-making powers of the 1st Defendant under Section 254 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, is limited to the premises of the Federal High Court and do not extend to outside its perimeters, which are under the exclusive responsibility of law enforcement agencies such as the Police, DSS, etc; and

“An order of this Honorable court declaring the Federal High Court Practice Directions (On Trial of Terrorism Cases) 2022, unconstitutional ultra vires, invalid, null, void, and of no effect.”

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