An Abuja Magistrate Court on Wednesday quashed criminal charge brought against detained Director of Radio Biafra and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, by the Federal Government.
The Chief Magistrate, Shauibu Usman, ruled for discontinued trial of Kanu on earlier charges, following a motion to that effect filed and argued by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Moses Idakwo.
Usman’s ruling was in line with the request by the Department of State Service (DSS) to drop the charges against the Biafran activist which is expected to pave the way for government to pursue his trial at the Federal High Court that has original jurisdiction on terrorism.
The DSS had argued that the Magistrate’s Court lacked the jurisdiction, since they had obtained the Federal High Court order to detain him for 90 days based on terrorism charges.
Before the case was struck out, Kanu had been put on trial for criminal conspiracy, managing and belonging to an unlawful society and criminal intimidation contrary to Section 97, 97B and 397 of the penal code.
The fact of the case, according to a DSS report, was that the accused formed an unlawful society with the purpose of bringing into being a Republic of Biafra.
Kanu was alleged to have proclaimed himself as leader of the Republic of Biafra and established Radio Biafra. He was also alleged to have “appointed himself Commander of the Loyal Forces of Biafra and was broadcasting to the whole world the dire consequences of the government and people of Nigeria will surfer should they attempt to hinder the actualisation of the Republic of Biafra”.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola will however rule today on the bail application by Kanu to enforce his freedom and fundamental human rights.
By Olisemeka Obeche