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Nigeria to Resume Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial on Terrorism Charges on February 26

Nigeria to Resume Nnamdi Kanu's Trial on Terrorism Charges on February 26

The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to resume the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the self-appointed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on terrorism charges. The trial, which had been on hold, will continue on Monday, February 26, following a Supreme Court judgment in December 2023 that allowed the prosecution to proceed with the remaining seven charges against Kanu.

The trial will take place before Justice Binta Nyako at the Federal High Court in Abuja. Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice have been notified about the resumption of the trial.

The Department of State Services (DSS) has been contacted to ensure Kanu’s presence in court on the specified date. Kanu has been in DSS custody since his arrest in Kenya and subsequent extradition to Nigeria on June 19, 2021.

Initially facing 15 counts of terrorism charges, eight of the charges were dismissed by Justice Binta Nyako during the trial. In April 2022, the judge upheld seven counts against Kanu and ordered him to present his defense against the alleged offenses.

In October 2022, the Court of Appeal in Abuja nullified the terrorism charges against Kanu and ordered his immediate release, citing the unlawful rendition of Kanu from Kenya by the Nigerian government. However, on October 28, 2022, the Supreme Court granted a stay of execution, suspending Kanu’s release pending an appeal filed by the government.

In December 2023, the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s judgment and ruled that Kanu’s trial should proceed. The court held that the government’s unlawful abduction of Kanu did not divest the court’s power to continue with the trial. The Supreme Court emphasized that the appropriate remedy for Kanu’s abduction is to file a civil matter against the government.

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