Trial of Nigerian separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu adjourned until January

2021-11-11 09:12:14
Trial of Nigerian separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu adjourned until January

The trial of Nigerian separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu has been adjourned until January after his lead lawyer walked out of court to after other members of the legal defense team were not allowed in the courtroom.

At his last court appearance on October 21, Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), pleaded not guilty to seven charges that included “terrorism”, treason and perpetuating falsehoods against President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kanu’s lawyers planned to challenge the competence of the charges on Wednesday, but said they were barred by state security agents from entering the courtroom.

“I have not seen such a travesty of justice,” lead lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofor told reporters outside the courtroom.

Wednesday’s proceedings lasted 20 minutes and the trial was postponed to January 19 and 20 next year.

Kanu, 53, was arrested in late 2015 after calling for a separate homeland for the Igbo people in southeast Nigeria. In 2017, he jumped bail, reappearing in Israel and Britain.

On June 29, Nigeria's government said Kanu had been brought back to Nigeria to stand trial.

His charges include "terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal posession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others," Malami said.

Calls for a separate state of Biafra are a sensitive subject in Nigeria, after a unilateral declaration of independence in 1967 sparked a brutal 30-month civil war.

More than one million people died, most of them Igbos, from the impact of conflict, hunger and disease.

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