- Nnamdi Kanu says part of the conditions of the bail granted on to him are violations of his constitutional rights
- He says he wants to attend rallies and grant interviews
- His trial has been adjourned until October 17
Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, has filed a motion to fight the bail conditions granted to him by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to a report on The Punch, Kanu has asked the court, where he is being prosecuted along with others, on treasonable felony charges, to vary the conditions of the bail which it had granted him.
Recall that Justice Binta Nyako, had in her ruling delivered on April 25, 2017, granted bail to Kanu, but dismissed the separate bail applications filed by his co-defendants – the National Coordinator of IPOB, Chidiebere Onwudiwe; an IPOB member, Benjamin Madubugwu; and a former field maintenance engineer seconded to MTN, David Nwawuisi.
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After the court delivered its ruling on the defendants’ bail applications, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Magaji Labaran, also amended the charges to include another co-defendant, Bright Chimezie.
But in his application filed on July 1, 2017, Kanu has said that parts of the bail conditions prohibiting him from being seen in a crowd exceeding 10 persons, granting press interviews and holding or attending rallies, violated his constitutional rights.
Speaking through his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu stated in the motion that the undesirable bail terms and conditions were contained in paragraphs 2(vii) and (viii) of the court’s ruling, granting bail to his client on April 25.
Anchored on Sections 6(6), 36(5), 39, 40, and 42 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), as well as Section 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, the motion is therefore, seeking, “An order of this honourable court varying the bail conditions given to the first defendant/applicant on April 25, 2017, by outrightly (sic) vacating paragraph 2(vii) and (viii) in the said order, which stipulates ‘that the first defendant should not be seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people; and that the defendant should not grant any interviews, hold or attend any rallies, respectively.”
Ejiofor said that the bail conditions are excessive as he maintained that by virtue of Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution, his client was presumed innocent.
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He said: “Part of the condition barring him (Kanu) from being seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people contradicted his right to freedom of association, and peaceful assembly, as guaranteed by Section 40 of the Constitution.
“Part of the conditions barring Kanu from granting press interviews also constituted an infringement of the defendant’s right to freedom of expression provided under Section 39 of the Constitution.”
The lawyer added: “Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (amended) presume as innocent citizens charged with criminal offence until guilt is proved.
“Paragraph 2(vii) in the order, which stipulates that the first defendant/applicant cannot be seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people, contradicts the applicant’s right to freedom of association, and peaceful assembly granted by Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended).
“Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (amended) provides for citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and press.
“The bail conditions granted the first defendant/applicant, particularly conditions in paragraph 2(vii) and (viii) in the said order, clearly discriminated against the first defendant/applicant, and subjected him to certain disabilities and restrictions.”
Kanu’s motion comes at a time many have question his breach of the bail conditions as the IPOB leader had granted press interviews and even recently led and addressed rallies of huge crowds against the holding of governorship election in Anambra state.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that the charges against him include conspiracy and treasonable felony by allegedly conspiring among themselves to broadcast on Radio Biafra agitation for the secession of Republic of Biafra from Nigeria.
He and his co-defendants were also accused of improper importation of goods and illegal possession of firearms.
His trial has been adjourned until October 17.
The prosecution has yet to file its response to the motion.
You can watch this Legit.ng video of Nnamdi Kanu and his approach to the agitation