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If report reaching Africa News 24 is anything to go by, then the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of UK-based Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, is set to spend Christmas in Kuje Maximum prison, Abuja.
The Biafra leader who described himself as a ‘Prisoner of Conscience’, will be celebrating Christmas in prison because his defence team is appealing against the ruling of an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court which granted the Federal Government the nod to shield identities of witnesses scheduled to testify against him.
Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, confirmed to IBTimes UK that the defence is appealing against the ruling, arguing that it goes against the principles of a fair trial.
Recall that Mr. Kanu, had on Tuesday, December 13, threatened to pull Nigeria down over the ruling of an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
The Biafran leader gave the threat after Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja granted the Federal Government the nod to shield identities of witnesses scheduled to testify against him.
According to Kanu, “I won’t stand this travesty of Justice. Buhari spoke in public, he accused me in public. I must also be allowed to stand my trial in public”, Kanu bellowed from the dock.
“This is nonsense! I will give testimony before this court! By the time I finish, there will be no Nigeria. This is no Sharia court. It is a court that operates under the common law.
“There will be no screening of witnesses, no fake identities or fake addresses. I cannot be tried in secret. No! Nnamdi Kanu cannot be jailed in secret! They are mad. Why must I be tried in secrecy by a government that does not obey court orders.
“They are killing my people in public, after killing my people they want to try me in private? That person is mad. I won’t allow it. “, Kanu fumed.
Reacting to the ruling during an interview with IBTimes UK, Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor said: “He was accused in the open. The trial must be conducted in the open.
“We are appealing against any form of trial that would shield the public from having access to evidence against our client. We want a fair trial for our client.
“It’s it is a right enshrined in our constitution. The trial has been adjourned to 10 January 2017”. Ejiofor told IBTimes UK.
Meanwhile, Kanu alongside his co-accused, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi are facing an eleven-count charge of treasonable felony, brought against them by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Although they have been granted bail twice by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government has refused to obey the court orders raising doubts over the possibility of Mr. Kanu and his co-accused regaining freedom anytime soon.