Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), had his plea in the 15-count terrorist charges brought against him by the Federal Government rejected on Tuesday before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
With the new allegations filed against him late Monday, he accused the government of ambushing him.
Kanu, via his principal lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), claimed that the government had violated the concept of due process by the way the new accusation was presented to them.
Ozekhome protested at the resumption of the trial that the new charge was the sixth in a sequence, and that his client cannot move to accept a plea in the charges because he has not studied to prepare for his defense as required by law.
“My Lord, at this moment, Kanu is unaware of the accusation. He’s simply engaging in conversation with me. He can’t be forced to plead guilty to accusations he hasn’t seen.
“The federal government is just abusing the right to a fair hearing. As instructed by this honourable court, the frail looking Kanu standing in the dock there has not been permitted contact with his family,” he remarked.
Ozekhome also argued that the proof of evidence was not readable enough for them to comprehend the new accusations.
“I went to DSS to visit him, and I was stripped nearly completely naked before I could see him.”
“In the interest of justice, we beg that the arraignment be postponed until tomorrow so that his attorneys may review the new charge with him,” he continued.
Mr. Shuaib Labaran, who represented the Federal Government, did not object to the plea for delay, prompting Justice Binta Nyako to set the arraignment for tomorrow.
Before being taken to DSS custody, the judge ordered Kanu and his counsel to have a meeting in the courtroom.
Kanu has previously protested to his lawyer about bad food, clothes, and the denial of his right to follow his chosen religion.
In response, Justice Nyako reminded him that the jail center is not a five-star hotel, although he did order that Kanu be permitted to appear in court tomorrow dressed in fresh clothing.
The judge denied Mr. Bruce Fein’s request to enter the courtroom to witness the trial, saying that the request would be granted only after a formal application and permission by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.