Friday 12 August, 2016.
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ABUJA---The press conference held at Heartland Hotels, Central Area, Abuja, anchored by Nnamdi Kanu’s defence team, led by Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor today, the 12th day of August, 2016, had Biafra Writers and other Nigerian media houses in attendance.
The press briefing by the defence lawyer, Barr. Ejiofor, was necessary to clear myriads of misconceptions and also to address wrong impressions about his client in the public domain.
In Barr. Ejiofor’s words: “It has become imperative that wrong narratives in the public domain regarding the actual charges, our client (Nnamdi Kanu) and others are facing in court today, is corrected.’’
‘’The six count charges levied against our client and other two defendants show in summary, that our client is facing 3 count charges of treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society and concealing goods in a container, holding goods of different descriptions; while the second defendant Mr. Benjamin Madubugwu is facing 2 count charges, (i.e count 4 and 5) of assisting in the management of unlawful society and unlawful possession of fire arms. The 3rd defendant Mr. David Nwawuisi is facing only one count charge of assisting in the management of unlawful society’’ he posited.
|Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor And His Team|
Debunking the unfounded charges of treason slammed against his client, he said; ‘’to show that the concocted charges of treasonable felony preferred against our client, and hurriedly filed by the State, being served with an order made by a judge of federal high court, directing the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu was to secure his continued but unjust incarceration, the question now arises as to whether a single individual can be charged solely with the offence of treason taking into cognizance the ingredients of the offence of treason as enumerated for under Section 41 of the criminal code Act cap C38 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.’’
|Barrister Ejiofor With Chinedu Ewulu And Chukwuemeka Chimerue Of Biafra writers|
Still briefing the press, Barr. Ejiofor dispelled the false accusation by the Prosecution team led by Mr. S.N. Labaran, that his client and the legal team are deliberately frustrating the trial of the case saying; ‘’the Prosecution had at different foras falsely accused our client and his legal team of frustrating the speedy trial of the matter. It is apposite therefore, to place facts in the proper perspective to enable the misinformed, understand the actual culprit.
Recall that our client (Nnamdi Kanu) and the other two defendants were on the 29th day of January, 2016 denied bail by the learned trial court consequent upon which the case was adjourned to the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th of February, 2016 for trial. The defence team came to court on the 9th of February 2016 readily prepared for the hearing to commence.’’
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‘’Right inside the court, and at about 9:30am, the Prosecution served on us, an application filled that morning, which in substance is seeking for an order of the court to allow the Prosecution witnesses testify during trial, by the aid of facial mask and behind the screens.’
‘’This application truncated the trial already slated for four consecutive days. The application and our counter affidavit filed in its opposition were together heard on the 19th of February 2016. In the ruling delivered that same day, the Honourable court refused the Prosecution’s prayers, which sought for their witnesses to wear facial masks and testify behind screens while giving evidence, among other reliefs.
‘’The trial was by the consent of counsel on both sides, adjourned to the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th of March 2016. Again, the defence team came to court on the 7th day of March 2016 for the hearing. But very surprisingly, the Prosecution announced to the court that their witnesses had insisted that they will not come to court to give evidence unless the court makes an order that will ensure they are shielded from the public at the time of giving evidence.
He continued saying, ‘’on the strength of this information, the prosecution applied to the court to vary the order he made on the 19th day of February, 2016, to allow the witnesses give evidence behind the screen. Despite our strong opposition to the oral application made by the Prosecution in this regard, the Honourable court granted t5he application and consequently varied its order made on 19th February 2016.
‘’Following this strange procedure, which did not meet any of the circumstance laid down in our laws, under which a court would vary its own order, we promptly appealed to the Court of Appeal to set aside the later order made by the court.’’
‘’In the face of this anomaly, it became apparent that our client (Nnamdi Kanu) and the other defendants cannot get a fair trial in this very court. This among other compelling reasons necessitated other sundry legal measures we adopted, to demand that the Honourable court disqualifies itself from further proceeding with the hearing of the case. From the foregoing accounts, it is left for the discerning minds to determine at this stage, who is the actual party delaying the trial.’’
Finally, Barr. Ejiofor as a matter of fact, came heavily against the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) maintaining that his client has no connection or ties with MEND and therefore has no authority to represent him or the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), he cautioned that their continued alliance with the federal government to negotiate the release of his client is totally unacceptable and not welcomed. He however, did not completely rule out the use of political solution to address his client’s condition.
‘’In the past few days, the media was awash with the news on negotiation going on between the federal government and the members of the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), where our client’s name (Nnamdi Kanu) conspicuously featured. It is on that note that we wish to inform the general public that Nnamdi Kanu has no connection, contact, ties, or any form of relationship with the members of the MEND.
‘’As such, MEND has no implied, direct, or express authority of Nnamdi Kanu to represent him or the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in an purported negotiation going on between them and the federal government. ‘’The general public is accordingly advised, discountenance and disregard the falsehood being peddled by MEND. Nnamdi Kanu does not know them.’’
‘’However, Nnamdi Kanu is not averse to political solution, in resolving his present politically orchestrated ordeal. Nnamdi Kanu welcomes genuine political solutions to this case.’’
‘’The Federal government does not need to sponsor their representatives to travel far away Bayelsa State or the creeks of Niger Delta region, in order to reach Nnamdi Kanu. They know where they kept him, which is easily accessible to them. Nnamdi Kanu has people of proven integrity and impeccable character that will negotiate on this behalf based on his demands, when communication to this effect is established.”
Reporting from FCT, Abuja.
Chukwuemeka Chimerue and Chinedu Ewulu
FOR BIAFRA WRITERS