IPOB: Kanu in showdown with Justice Binta Nyako over secret trial

Nnamdi Kanu

  • There ‘ll be no trial without Biafrans, my family members allowed to witness proceedings

  • Judge storms out of court room, says no litigant ‘ll dictate to her

There was a seriocomical drama in the courtroom of Justice Binta Nyako Wednesday after leader of IPOB, Mr Nnamdi Kanu roared from the dock that he would not allow his trial to proceed until Biafrans locked outside the court premises were allowed into the courtroom to witness proceedings in his case.

He said if he was accused in the open by the Federal government, he must also be tried in the open and not secretly.

His insistence that he would not allow the earlier order of the trial judge to prevail infuriated the judge, Justice Binta Nyako  who stormed out of the courtroom into her chambers.

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Justice Binta said she would not take order from a litigant in her court.

Indications that there would be stalemate in the trial emerged few days ago when Kanu rejected secret trial as ordered by Justice Nyako.

Specifically, Justice Binta on the 13th of Dec 2016, had ruled that masked witnesses would be allowed to testify against Kanu.

She anchored her decision on the provision of section 36(6) of the 1999 constitution which allows protection of state witnesses

But Justice Nyako said that the court would be able to see the parties’ witnesses.

She added that the court would be arranged in such a way that only the defendants and the defense counsel would be able to see the witnesses.

But Nnamdi Kanu in quick response to the ruling, made an outburst

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“Do I look like a fool to you? I won’t take this. Buhari accused me in the public and the trial must be open to all, I won’t accept this.”

The trial between Nnamdi Kanu and the Federal government of Nigeria kicked off at exactly 10:23am on Tuesday morning after the arrival of Justice Binta Nyako.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, Nnamdi Kanu and the other accused persons, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Chidiebere Onwudiwe were led to the shielding apparatus set before the court where the witnesses were to testify.

After Justice Binta settled down to preside over the case, Nnamdi Kanu was heard thundering from behind the shielding apparatus that there would be no court sitting without the presence of Biafrans and his family members outside.

When asked why he said so, he replied, “Buhari cannot accuse me in the open and try me in secret.”

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At this point, Binta Nyako who could no longer hide her annoyance at Kanu’s reaction stormed out of the court room.