Nigeria: Major News Outlets Shut Out of Nnamdi Kanu Trial

Security is massing at the Federal High Court, Abuja, where the trial of Nnamdi Kanu is to commence later today amidst limited media coverage.

Kanu is the leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, a separatist group calling Biafra's secession from Nigeria.

Security agents have reportedly shortlisted only 10 news outlets to cover the trial in court.

Journalists left out of accreditation and refused entry into the court in talks with security agents at the court premises. Photo by Ikechuwku Ibe

This comes despite the court being a public institution.

An accreditation list seen has only 10 news outlets for the coverage

A list seen by Daily Trust shows only 10 reporters and four cameramen from 10 news outlets.

Reporters refused entry into the court set up broadcast units outside the courthouse. Photo by Ikechukwu Ibe

A Daily Trust correspondent arriving at the court as early as 6:45am on Monday morning was turned back by security agents.

"On reaching the high court, I was turned back by security agents who told me that my name is not among approved journalists to cover the case," the correspondent says.

"Right now, I am hanging around high court vicinity to observe as events unfold."

Kanu had appealed to a Federal High Court in Abuja to transfer him to Kuje prison in Abuja.

Kanu, who was rearrested abroad and flown back to the country last month is currently in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Supporters of Nnamdi Kanu outside the court. Photo by Ikechukwu Ibe

Upon his return to the country, Justice Binta Nyako, who had granted him bail on health grounds before he fled in 2017, had ordered that he should be kept in DSS' custody until July 26.

His trial has prompted the gathering of supporters outside the court.

Police officer disperses supporters of Kanu from outside the court where they have been speaking to media. Photo by Ikechukwu Ibe

They have been telling broadcasters they are present to offer solidarity to Kanu during his trial and hoped for his eventual freedom.

But police dispersed them shortly afterwards.

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