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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday struck out eight of the 15 counts filed against the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Mr Kanu was accused of various offences in the 15 counts, including treasonable felony and terrorism, offences he allegedly committed in the course of his separatist campaigns.
But the judge, Binta Nyako, struck out eight of the charges in her ruling on Mr Kanu’s preliminary objection challenging the validity of the charges.
Mrs Nyako ruled that Counts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 14 were incompetent for not disclosing any valid offences against the defendant.
“In this instant preliminary objection application, I have read the counts and counts 6,7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 14 have not disclosed any offence,” Mrs Nyako said.
She, however, ruled that Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,13 and 15 disclosed valid charges against Mr Kanu.
She asked the prosecution to proceed to trial on the remaining seven charges, ordering the prosecuting lawyer, Shuaibu Labaran, to file a fresh proof of evidence before May 18, the next hearing date.
The judge, in a separate ruling on Friday, validated the federal government’s repatriation of Mr Kanu from Kenya to face the charges pending against him in Nigeria.
Mr Kanu had pleaded not guilty to all the 15 amended charges.
Below are the full details of the seven sustained charges and the eight counts that were struck out by the court:
The judge ordered that the case proceeds to trial on Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 13 and 15.
Five of the sustained charges have to do with alleged acts of terrorism, including professing to be a member and leader of IPOB, a proscribed organisation, issuing inciteful and deadly threats against individuals, and issuing directives, among others.
Count 15 has to do with the illegal importation of a radio transmitter he declared as used household items in violation of section 47 (2) (a) of the Criminal Code Act. Cap, C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.