The Federal Government has amended its treason charge against the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The amended charge now has seven counts as against the earlier five. The charge was filed on October 14 ahead of Thursday’s resumption of the proceedings in the case at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
It was also gathered yesterday that the court has already issued a notice, reminding parties to the case about the Thursday date.
In the notice, the court asked the parties to bring forward all the evidence or document they wish to rely on in support of their arguments.
A senior official in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and one of Kanu’s lawyers, Maxwell Opara, confirmed the development.
The official, who did not want to be quoted because he was not permitted to speak on the matter, explained that the amended charge was necessitated by new developments.
The amended charge reads:
*Count one: ”That you, Nnamdi Kanu, male adult of Afaraukwu lbeku Umahia North Local Government Area of Abia State being the leader of IPOB on diverse dates in 2014 and 2015 in London, United Kingdom, did broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu and other areas within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, preparations made by you and others now at large. for states in the SouthEast and Southsouth and other communities in Kogi and Benue states to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a view to constituting same into the Republic of Biafra and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 41(c) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP. C77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004;
*Count two:”That you, Kanu , on or about the 28th April 2015 in London, did broadcast on Radio Biafra … referred to Maj.- Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (GCON), the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a pedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil, knowing same to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C. 77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004;
*Count three: That you, Kanu, had between March and April 2015 imported and kept in Ubulusiuzor, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, a radio transmitter known as TRAM 50L concealed in a container of used household which you declared as used household items and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 47 (2) of the Criminal Code of Act , Cap C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004;
*Count four: ”That you, Kanu, had between 2018 and 2021 in Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu, and FCT(Federal Capital Territory), professed to be a member of IPOB, a proscribed organisation in Nigeria and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16 Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.”
Southeast governors and Igbo leaders have announced their readiness to dialogue with the Federal Government on a plethora of challenges facing Nigeria and the Igbo nation in particular.
Getting a reprieve for the incarcerated leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is one of the core issues the governors and leaders plan to table before the government.
They argued that the use of dialogue and political solutions were the best workable options open to the Presidency and everyone or group that desires peace and sustainable growth for Nigeria.
They, therefore, called on Buhari to ensure that Kanu was produced before an Abuja Federal High Court on Thursday, the day for his resumed trial.
This was contained in a statement yesterday by the apex-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
In the statement by its Spokesman, Chiedozie Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze, argued that until some of the obvious injustices against the Igbo were addressed, the chains of catastrophe that threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria might continue.
According to Ohanaeze, “it is extremely difficult to have peace amidst injustice.”
“We need not look elsewhere to know that IPOB is simply an exponent of Igbo collective sentiments and predicaments in our tortuous journey and an unquantifiable sacrifice for one Nigeria,” the group said.
The Ohanaeze statement reads in part: “Ohanaeze recalls with consternation that on May 2, 2019, a Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Interior, Abdul-Rahman Dambazau, held a meeting with national leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), as part of steps to address the country’s security challenges.
“The meeting was hosted by the Governor of Kebbi State, Alh. Atiku Bagudu. In attendance was the then Acting Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Muhammad Adamu.”
“During the time of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Niger Delta was at the peak of youth restiveness and Yar’Adua opened a channel for dialogue and the matter was over. President Goodluck Jonathan, during his incumbency, had set up a committee commonly referred to as the Presidential Committee on Dialogue with Boko Haram, an initiative that has been sustained by the Buhari administration. As of today, Governors in the North have openly demonstrated their desire for dialogue with dreaded groups terrorizing their regions; the videos clips abound.
“Based on the foregoing, the Ohanaeze structures, including the Council of Elders, Council of Traditional Rulers, the Igbo Governors, Igbo NASS(National Assembly) members, government officials, Archbishops and the Clergy, stakeholders, youth and women wings, town unions, etc, are ready for a meaningful dialogue with the Federal Government on a plethora of challenges facing the Igbo nation and Nigeria. Our core objective is a sense of belonging in a country anchored on equity, justice, and fairness.”
While calling on President Buhari to “ensure that our son, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is produced in court on Thursday, October 21, 2021”, Ohanaeze said, “This is necessary to prove to the global community that Nnamdi Kanu is not only hale and hearty but that shady judicial process is not contemplated while on trial”.
The statement reiterated its call on the presidency to consider dialogue as a panacea to peace; insisting that the jackboot approach to the IPOB uprising would rather aggravate the precarious situation.
It also urged “the leader of Ohanaeze delegation to the trial of Kanu, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife and our legal team led by the National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Barr. Joseph Ojodu and Barr. Goddy Uwazurike to put in their very best to ensure that Nnamdi Kanu obtains justice”.
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