Monday, July 26, 2021 8:41 pm
A lawyer and chieftain of Igbo social-cultural group, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike on Monday described the reason given by the Nigerian secret police, the Department of State Services, DSS for not producing Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB in court during resumption of his trial on Monday as senseless.
Chief Goddy Uwazuruike who also represented the Igbo group at Monday’s trial said this while speaking to journalists after the case against Kanu was adjourned to 21 October.
Justice Binta Nyako, had adjourned the suit following the failure of the prosecution to produce Kanu in court.
She ordered DSS to produce Kanu in court at the next adjourned date as the trial cannot continue in his absence.
“Before you can take a criminal case, the defendant must be in court. I have been sitting down here since waiting for you. I will not take this kind of practice in the conduct of this case. When I give you a date, I want you to continue on that date. And you cannot continue until the defendant is present,” she held.
“Please do the needful and don’t allow this to happen again,” she told the prosecution.
Reacting to the situation, Uwaxuruike also slammed the DSS over its failure to bring Kanu to court.
Uwazuruike, who was with former governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife said, “We did not see Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. We only heard that he was brought back, nobody has seen him. Ohanaeze is saying Kanu remains our son.
“If he was taken from Kenya by unlawful means following the rule of law, he must be brought to court. And the reason given by the government for not bringing him to court is questionable – they said it is a problem of logistics.
“In simple language, the DSS said they don’t have a vehicle to bring him. As far as I am concerned, that’s the meaning of the word logistic. And it does not make sense,” said Uwazuruike.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo chieftain who noted that the judge could not proceed with the case because of absence of Kanu in court wondered why the Biafra agitator is being treated like a criminal, noting that his lawyer has also been denied access to him.
“He is a suspect and everybody is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Today, we have come all the way to Abuja to look at what is going on and the first thing we did was to look for him and we did not see him.
“Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer has also been complaining that he has been denied the opportunity of seeing his client in the past 10 days. And the Judge is having a meeting with the prosecutor and Kanu’s lawyer to know when to go and see him.
“We are only hearing. We don’t know if he is alive. We want to see that justice is not only done, but it must been seen to be done.
“What triumphed today is technicality, not justice. Justice demands that you don’t put somebody under cell and decide when you will be brought to trial.
“Nnamdi Kanu is in the custody of DSS and it is not a prison. Nothing has changed. This trial is being monitored all over the world.
“ The judiciary is on trial in Nigeria today and how they handled this case will determine how judiciary is handled in Nigeria. It is an international case and we will monitor it to the end