A federal high court in Abuja, on Monday, declined the request of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to be moved to Kuje Correctional Service Centre.
Kanu had, through his lead counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, asked the court to transfer him from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to Kuje prison.
However, the presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako, turned down the application.
She said though the earlier remand order subsists, she will make an order for the lawyers to be given access to Kanu.
“No, I am not transferring him to the correctional centre. I am keeping him there (DSS custody) and I am going to make an order that you should be given access,” she said.
Nyako, however, noted that the access to Kanu would be regimented.
“But it is not going to be all comers’ affair; it will be regimented. You can’t get up at night and say you want to visit your client,’ she added.
Nyako also condemned the prosecution’s act for not producing Kanu in court, ordered that Kanu should be produced in court in the next adjourned date.
Before you can take a criminal case, the defendant must be in court. I have been sitting down here since waiting for you.
“I will not take this kind of practice in the conduct of this case. When I give you a date, I want you to continue on that date.
“And you cannot continue until the defendant is present,” she held.
Nyako said he had not made any order for the trial to continue in Kanu’s absence, hence he must be brought to the court to stand his trial.
“Please do the needful and don’t allow this to happen again,” she told the prosecution.
She also noted that since the court vacation had started, a fiat from the Chief Judge of the court, Justice John Tsoho, would be needed to give the matter accelerated hearing.
She adjourned the matter until Oct. 21 for trial continuation.