Court Okays Shielding Of Witnesses In Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial
BEVERLY HILLS, March 07, (THEWILL) – The Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Monday agreed for prosecution witnesses proposed by the Federal Government against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, to testify behind a witness screen.
A witness screen is an apparatus positioned to shield a witness from seeing the accused in the courtroom.
The presiding judge, John Tsoho upheld the argument of the prosecution led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, in the Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Diri, that the screen would only shield the witnesses from the members of the public present in court.
He said the use of the screen would not prevent the judge, the accused persons and lawyers to the parties to see the witnesses while testifying.
While dismissing the objection raised by Kanu's lawyer, Mr. Chuks Muoma SAN, the judge ruled that the request by the Federal Government for its witnesses to testify behind a witness screen did not amount to revisiting the court's earlier ruling prohibiting the prosecution witnesses from wearing masks.
The court also turned down Muoma's request for the court to discharge and acquit its witnesses because the prosecution failed to produce its witnesses to enable the trial to commence on Monday.
The judge ruled that the provision of section 351(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 relied on by the defence to ask for the quashing of the charges, did not apply to the circumstances of the case.
According to him, the court can only dismiss the charges against an accused person who is present in court when the complainant in the case is not represented in court.
The court then fixed Wednesday, March 9, for the commencement of trial.