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Judge threatens to adjourn Kanu’s trial indefinitely

Binta Nyako, judge of a federal high court, in Abuja, has threatened to adjourn indefinitely, the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Nyako, at the court session on Wednesday, faulted Kanu and his lawyer for delaying the commencement of the trial.

Earlier, Aloy Ejimakor, Kanu’s lawyer, said there are some conditions to be met by the court for his client to submit to trial.

He asked that the bail earlier granted to the IPOB leader in 2017 should be restored.

Ejimakor also prayed that Kanu should be relocated from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to a house arrest and be allowed free access to his lawyers.

“Our access to him has been restricted to 30 minutes per counsel individually,” Ejimakor said.

“We can’t enter with any writing materials, so we cannot take notes. Our conversations are recorded all the time.”

However, Adegboyega Awomolo, prosecution counsel, opposed the prayers of the defendant.

Awomolo said the court has already ruled on the defendant’s application for bail, noting that Kanu is at liberty to appeal it.

He described the applications as “frivolous vexatious irritating, and unmeritorious”.

In response, the judge then fixed May 20 for ruling on the applications and ordered the prosecution to call their first witness.

“It is either we open this trial today by prosecution calling witnesses or I adjourn this matter indefinitely till the time you are ready for trial,” the judge said addressing Ejimakor.

“You cannot continue to hold the court to ransom. I hope you know the consequences of adjourning the trial sine die. You have to make a choice and the choice has to be for you.

“I will rise for some minutes for you to think about this and make a choice and that choice has to be made today.”

Nyako then stood down the proceedings for a few minutes to allow the defendant to confer with his lawyers.

But when the court reconvened, Ejimakor said he was not prepared for trial.

The judge fixed May 20 for trial to commence.


After his extradition in June 2020 to Nigeria, the federal government filed terrorism charges against Kanu.

In April 2022, Nyako struck out eight of the 15 counts in the charge.

The remaining seven counts were also quashed by the court of appeal on October 13, 2022, with the judge ordering Kanu’s release.

However, on October 28, 2022, the court of appeal granted a stay of execution on its verdict discharging Kanu, after the federal government filed an appeal at the supreme court.

On December 15, 2023, a five-member panel of the apex court reversed the verdict of the appeal court and ordered Kanu to resume his trial before the federal high court.

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