BreakingNews 19/2/16 - Biafra: Court Rejects Secret Trial of Nnamdi Kanu And Protection For Prosecution Witnesses

[ Masterweb Reports: Seun Opejobi reports ] - The Justice John Tsoho-led Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday refused to grant an application by the Federal Government seeking a private trial for the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.


Justice Tsoho, in his ruling, declined the prayer of the prosecution seeking that its witnesses should wear mask and be seen through screen.


Dismissing the application, the court held that “the demeanor of the witnesses is very important and as such must testify openly.”


Justice Tsoho consequently adjourned the matter till 7,8,9,10 and 11 of March for trials.


Earlier, the Federal Government had through the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mohammed Diri filed before the court an application which sought secret trial and protection of witnesses.


Diri said, “Our application is to allow our witnesses who are civil servants residing in the geographical entity of the defendant.


“We take judicial notice that since the arrest of the defendant, there have been one form of protest and violence.”


The DPP informed the court that the witnesses have already indicated fear of insecurity for testifying against Kanu.


“They categorically informed us that unless they can be guaranteed some form of protection by the court, they are unwilling to come and testify.”


Diri also prayed the court to order the media not to reveal the identity of of the prosecuting witnesses.


The application was vehemently opposed by the defense counsel, Chuks Mouma who asserted that: “We do not want the court to grant the application.”


Mouma argued that the constitution has no provision for masquerades testifying against an accused person.


The defense counsel also informed the court that all cases cited by the prosecution are related to terrorism which are not applicable to the on-going proceedings.


*Photo Caption - Nnamdi Kanu at Federal High Court, Abuja January 20, 2016 in high spirits

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