Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Wednesday, informed a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that he has been a fan of Liverpool Football Club since childhood.
Kanu disclosed this when Justice Binta Nyako jokingly asked him his favourite football team.
The IPOB leader said he had been a fan of Liverpool Football Club since he was seven.
The development occurred when Kanu’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, complained that the Department of State Services (DSS) had not been allowing him and other counsel enough time to meet with the IPOB leader whenever they visited him in detention.
The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, who reminded Ozekhome that he had once thanked the DSS in open court for procuring an orthopaedic mattress, pillow and others for his client, said she had already ordered that the security outfit should give Kanu moderate treatment and care while in detention like food, clothing, medicare, etc.
Then Nyako turned to Kanu and said despite her order for him to change his clothes, the IPOB leader continued to put on the same milk-colour designer wear.
The judge said though Kanu, on his own accord, keeps coming into the court with the same attire, she saw him in the media with other clothes.
The judge then jokingly said she was a Liverpool fan and asked Ozekhome if he was also a fan of a football club, and the senior lawyer answered in the affirmative.
He said he was also a fan of Liverpool F.C.
Nyako then asked Kanu if he was a fan of Chelsea Football Club, going by the designer’s clothes he keeps wearing to court.
“What is your team?” she asked.
Kanu gently stood up in the dock and said: “My team is Liverpool even from the age of seven”.
The judge then told the DSS legal director, who was in court, to always allow Kanu to watch the matches of his favourite football club.
“You must allow the defendant to watch the matches any day they are playing,” she said, adding that she was going to make an order to that effect.
The DSS official, however, said his office had always given him access to watch.
The Federal Government of Nigeria, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, amended the charges against the detained leader of the IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
A counsel for the IPOB leader who made this known also said the Federal Government listed some lawyers representing Nnamdi Kanu as accomplices of the defendant.
Among the lawyers said to be indicted by the Federal Government are Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Maxwell Opara.
The IPOB legal team member said the government claimed that the indicted lawyers were constantly in contact with Nnamdi Kanu after he allegedly jumped bail and fled the country.
The court had earlier, on April 8, exonerated the Federal Government on the allegation that the leader of the IPOB was forcefully abducted abroad to stand his trial.
Nyako, in a ruling, held that rendition for the purpose of criminal investigation is allowed.
Nyako said since Kanu was on a bench warrant, the law allowed that anywhere he is sighted, he can be arrested and be brought to face his trial.
“Rendition for the purpose of criminal investigation is allowed.
“In the instant case, there is a bench warrant on the defendant (Kanu). Suffice to say, he is a fugitive before the court,” she said.
The judge, who dismissed Kanu’s move to challenge the terrorism charge, upheld seven counts in the fresh charge filed by the federal government against the IPOB leader.
Nyako said that the federal government, through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, had been able to establish some allegations against Kanu in counts one, two, three, four, five, eight and 15.
“Counts one, two, three, four, five, eight and 15 show some allegations. The court shall proceed to try the defendant (Kanu) on those counts,” she ruled.
After the review of the 15 counts, she held that about eight of the counts appeared to be similar and did not disclose action.
She, therefore, ordered that counts six, seven, nine, 10, 11, 12 13 and 14 should be struck out.
Nyako also ruled that the order proscribing IPOB as a terror group still subsisted until it was vacated since the issue was still on appeal.
She dismissed the argument of the counsel for Kanu, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, that whether IPOB was a terrorist organisation under the Nigerian law or not was still a subject of an appeal.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, struck out the amended six-count treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against Nnamdi Kanu.
Trial Justice Binta Nyako struck out the charge, after it was withdrawn by the Prosecution counsel, Mr. K. E. Kaswe.
Kaswe, who is from the Federal Ministry of Justice, withdrew the charge after Kanu’s team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, accused FG of deliberately frustrating the speedy determination of the case.
Ozekhome, noted that the amended charge was served on him, barely 48 hours to the court proceeding.
He maintained that FG introduced fresh issues in the amended charge, including additional documents and proof of evidence that was not originally attached to the case.
“My lord, in one of the attachments, pictures of lawyers waiting to have a meeting with the defendant at the DSS facility, were snapped with secret camera and displayed.
“Names of his lawyers- Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Maxwell Opara- were also mentioned. They have brought new issues and even changed the wordings of the charge. The fact that the court sustained only seven counts in the previous charge and the have now reduced it to six counts, means that the charge has already been altered”, Ozekhome submitted.
He, therefore, said it was wrong for the Prosecution to insist on proceeding with trial, without firstly rearraigning the defendant.
Owing to Ozekhome’s contention, FG’s lawyer, Kaswe, applied to withdraw the amended charge to enable the matter to proceed on trial.
Kaswe told the court that his first witness was available and ready to testify.
Consequently, Justice Nyako struck out the charge.
BAIL for Kanu
Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, also refused to admit Nnamdi Kanu to bail.
Justice Binta Nyako, in a ruling, held that since Kanu was earlier granted bail in 2017 and jumped the bail, the court must first determine the real reason he jumped the bail before applying for another one.
Justice Nyako then dismissed the application for bail.