Mr Nnamdi Kanu, the embattled leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a South East secession group, has pleaded not guilty to the seven charges preferred against him by the Nigerian Government.
Kanu, who is championing the re-enactment of the 1967 declaration of Biafra republic from Nigeria, a situation that led to a three year civil war (1967-1970) that claimed one million lives was arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday.
The secessionist leader who was arrested and deported from the UK in June 2021 after he fled Nigeria in 2017 is facing a seven count charge bothering on terrorism.
He pleaded not guilty and the court presided over by Justice Binta Nyanko, declined his request to be transferred to Kuje correctional centre, from the custody of the secret police, Department of State Service (DSS) where he is being currently held.
The court, however, granted that three persons of Kanu’s choice could pay him visit DSS facility.
The court thereafter adjourned to 10th November for hearing of his application challenging the competence of the suit.
The secret police did not allow a single journalist inside the courtroom.
The operatives said they were acting on “order from above”.
54-year-old Kanu was brought into the court amid heavy security mounted by the Army, police and civil defence corps.
Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lead counsel to the Kanu, confirmed that his client is in court to face his trial, sending pictures of them together in the courtroom.
Kanu was brought into the court premises under a heavy security convoy at exactly 8:00 am.
The Federal Government recently amended the charges against Kanu, increasing them to seven counts as against the five counts he was previously being tried.
According to the federal government, Kanu, on diverse dates in 2014 and 2015 in London, did broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored to secede from the Nigeria with a view to constituting same into the Republic of Biafra.
He is accused of using the illegal radio to refer to President Muhammadu Buhari as a paedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil, knowing same to be false.
Kanu is also accused of importing a Radio transmitter known as TRAM 50L concealed in a container of used household which you declared as used household items and in 2016 he professed to be leader of IPOB, a proscribed organisation in Nigeria.
He is also accused of act of terrorism when he directed IPOB members to kill security personnel, and their family members and that on 16th of May, 2021, Kenu did commit an act in furtherance of an act of terrorism by making a broadcast that “In 2 weeks’ time, what will happen will shake the world, people will die, the whole world will stand still, mark my word”.
And that on 31st of May, 2021, Kanu in London, committed act of terrorism by issuing a deadly threat that anyone who flouted sit-at-home order should “write his/her will,” as a result banks, schools, markets, shopping malls, fuel stations were not opened for businesses and vehicular movements grounded and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.
Kanu, had through his counsel, Ejiofor, accused Kenya of being an accessory to his abduction and subsequent deportation to Nigeria, an allegation that East African country had denied.
If found guilty, Kanu could be sentenced to life in prison.