The Nigerian government on Friday demanded the revocation of the bail granted the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in April.
In a statement on Thursday signed by Salihu Isah, an aide to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the Nigerian government hinged its request on 11 grounds of arguments.
According to the statement, the Nigerian government accused Mr. Kanu of ‘totally violating’ the 12 main conditions he was demanded to comply with by Justice Binta Nyako at an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on April 25.
Citing some of Mr. Kanu’s bail conditions, the prosecution said the defendant negated the conditions and acted in ways that allegedly have adverse effect on the nation’s security.
“Among other conditions for the bail of the 1st defendant are as follows: “That he should not be seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people.
“That he should not grant any press interviews, hold or attend any rallies;
“And that he should file in court medical updates of his health status every month.”
The government said that the bail conditions were perfected by the defendant/applicant which he is currently enjoying.
“Rather than observing all the conditions, the 1st defendant/respondent in flagrant disobedience to the court order flouted all conditions given by the court.
“The first defendant has in furtherance to the offence he was charged, inaugurated Biafra Security Service, ” the statement said.
“That the defendant held a rally at his residence in his hometown, Afara-UkwuIbeku in Umuahia, Abia State; the said rally with a CROWD exceeding 10 persons was captured in video published on the 1st June 2017 and circulated on YouTube.”
According to the statement, the defendant’s separatist comments have increased rather than reducing.
Some of the statements allegedly made after he was granted bail include the following:
“I was not born to be rich, politician or scientist but to restore Biafra. I did not say we are restructuring Nigeria or implementing Aburi but restoring Biafra. That is the total exit of Biafra from Nigeria thereby restoring the kingdom of God on earth… There will be no elections,” among others.
Mr. Kanu was first arrested in October 2015 and charged before a magistrate court by Nigeria’s government.
The case against him was later amended resulting in the current charge at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
In a reaction to the application, however, Mr. Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said on Friday that his client had “successfully challenged the bail conditions referred to by the government”.
“Though we intend to file a formal response to their most misconceived motion, it is my position that it does not lie in the power of the AG to ask for the revocation of the bail granted to my client. The prosecution can’t be seen at the same time as the persecutors.
“We have successfully challenged the bail terms we considered offensive to our clients constitutionally guaranteed rights. So their recent application is belated.
“Section 169 of the ACJA being relied upon by the AG can’t avail the Attorney General absolute power to ask for the revocation of bail. Parties must be heard on the merit by the court, ” Mr. Ejiofor said.
Mr. Ejiofor also said the alleged security outfit created by Mr. Kanu is a “mere group” formed in the exercise of the citizen’s constitutional right.
He added that the group cannot “by any stretch of the imagination” constitute themselves into a security threat.
“Let the federal government open their case if they have any genuine charge against my client. They are beating about the bush because they have no case against my client,” Mr. Ejiofor said.
Mr. Ejiofor further said the bail granted his client should be viewed in terms of its essence to ensure attendance at court hearings.
“Let me remind the public that the main essence of bail is to ensure that the person affected stands his trial and nothing more.
“Our client is ready to stand his trial but the federal government is not willing to open their case, they are rather interested in keeping my client behind bars which can’t happen again.”