The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has written to the United States Ambassador in Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, urging her to send representatives to observe proceedings in his ongoing trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Mr Kanu, who is standing trial in a seven-count amended charge before Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, also wrote the United Kingdom (UK) High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, requesting the presence of British envoys in court next week.
The IPOB leader’s trial bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism, is expected to resume on January 18.
Mr Kanu is being held by the SSS at its headquarters in Abuja, after the Nigerian government brought him from Kenya last June, an action his lawyers termed “abduction.”
“We, gratefully, please, request His Excellency to send representative(s) of the United States Embassy to observe the proceedings of the court on those adjourned dates and on any other date to which further proceedings in the cause may be adjourned until the matter is disposed of,” Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Mr Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, wrote in the letters dated January 11 and separately addressed to the American and British diplomats in Nigeria.
Mr Ejiofor predicated the letters on “the need to ensure that our client (Mr Kanu) is given a fair trial.
The lawyer noted that Mr Kanu’s trial has a “political undercurrent,” adding, “the instant request is compelling in the circumstance, to ensure that the whole process of our client’s trial is fair and just in all circumstances.”
He appealed to the U.S. government to prevail on the Nigerian government concerning harassment, intimidating and arrest of Nigerians who may throng the court premises next Tuesday to witness the trial.
Journalists and lawyers have been having a hell of a time accessing the Federal High Court in Abuja during hearings in the IPOB leader’s trial.