Nigeria: Trial of separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu adjourned | news

The judge postpones the trial of the leader of the Biafra indigenous group until January 19-20 next year.

The trial of separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu in the Nigerian capital Abuja was adjourned to January after his chief attorney resigned in protest at security officials’ refusal to allow other members of the legal defense to enter the courtroom.

When he last appeared in court on October 21, Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), pleaded not guilty on seven charges, including “terrorism”, treason and the perpetuation of falsehoods against President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kanu’s lawyers planned to challenge the prosecution’s jurisdiction on Wednesday, but said State Security officials prevented them from entering the courtroom.

“I have never seen such a travesty of justice,” senior attorney Ifeanyi Ejiofor told reporters outside the courtroom.

Canu’s US-based attorney Bruce Fein was among those denied entry.

“If you are charged with a crime, you have the right to a lawyer. And he was denied access to me five times, ”he said, adding that the Nigerian judiciary cannot be“ trusted ”.

In a court record obtained from Reuters news agency, the judge is asked if Kanu wants to conduct the trial in the absence of his lawyers. “No, my lord,” he replied.

Wednesday’s trial lasted 20 minutes and the trial was postponed to January 19-20 next year.

Security forces again denied journalists access to the court.

IPOB is looking for part of the southeast, home of the Igbo ethnic group, to secede from Nigeria. An attempt to secede as the Republic of Biafra in 1967 sparked a three-year civil war that killed more than a million people.

Kanu was first arrested in 2015 but disappeared on bail in April 2017. More than a year later he appeared in Israel.

His social media posts during his absence outraged the government, which said his comments sparked attacks on security forces in southeastern Nigeria.

Security officials presented him in Abuja court on June 29 after detaining him in an unknown country. His lawyer alleged that he was detained and ill-treated in Kenya.

However, the East African nation has denied participation.

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