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Biafra: Court Grants Request For FG Witnesses To Testify Behind The Screen


By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted request by the prosecution Counsel in the suit filed against the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, to allow witnesses line up and testify against the accused behind the screen.

Justice James Tsoho in his ruling Monday, held that the screen prayed for by the Federal Government prosecutor, led by the Federal Ministry of Justice Director of Public Prosecutions, Mohammed Diri, was only to shield the witnesses from members of the public who throng the court to observe the proceedings.

Consequently, Justice Tsoho dismissed the request by Kanu’s Counsel, Mr. Chuks Muoma (SAN), praying the court to discharge and acquit its witnesses as he argued the prosecution has failed to produce its witnesses for the trial to commence today (Monday).

The Judge while ruling on ‎the provision of section 351(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act‎ 2015 cited by the defence Counsel for dismissal of charges against Kanu, held was not relevant to the circumstances of the suit.

Justice Tsoho also held that the court could only dismiss the charges against an accused present in court when the plaintiff in the same suit was not represented in court.

On the screen, the jurist held that the device would prevent all parties in the suit – the judge, the accused and lawyers to the parties to see the witnesses while testifying.

Kanu, who is also the leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has been arrested in a Lagos Hotel since last (2015) October. He and three others have been held by the DSS for allegedly running an illegal radio; holding of illegal processions and breaching of the public peace. He and other suspects have pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

The next hearing has been adjourned till Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

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