Biafra: Kanu Loses Application To Stay Proceedings

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BEVERLY HILLS, April 26, (THEWILL) – A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, before Justice James Tsoho has dismissed an application filed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to stay proceedings on his trial over his appeal against the ruling of the court allowing for witness protection.

Justice Tsoho, while dismissing the application, stated that the application was not premised on the issue of jurisdiction, but the mode of procedure in trial adding that the application for stay of proceedings was antithetical to speedy trial.

He further ruled that all the cases cited by the defendant were not in tandem with Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), conceding to the fact that Section 306 seeks to eradicate stay of proceedings, the judge held that the provision had not eroded the right of appeal.

“This is because it does not inhibit the defendant/applicant from appealing on the interlocutory ruling. Interlocutory appeal does not give right to stay of proceedings,” he held.

Tsoho however cautioned Ifeanyi Ejiofor, a member of Kanu’s legal team, over the use of inflammatory and derogatory words used in a statement in support of the affidavit filed alongside the application to the court.

Commencement of trial was thus fixed for June 20, 21, 22 and 23, 2016 while his appeal on an earlier ruling of the trial court on protection of witness is slated to be heard on May 5, 2016.

Kanu is standing trial, alongside two others, for allegedly being in possession of some firearms, treasonable felony and assisting in the management of an unlawful society by the Department of State Service (DSS).

Story by David Oputah