Nigeria: Nnamdi Kanu Trial Pushed to October 21 After He Fails to Appear in Court

Abuja — The trial of Nigerian secessionist leader Nnamdi Kanu was postponed on Monday after he failed to appear in court, reportedly for logistical reasons.

Nigeria's secret police service, the Department of State Services (DSS), did not produce the 54-year-old at the Federal High Court in Abuja as expected.

Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the trial to October 21, saying it could not continue in the absence of the accused.

Prosecution counsel M. B Abubakar had told the court that Mr Kanu was not taken to court for logistical reasons.

Mr Kanu is re-enacting the 1967 secession of the South East from Nigeria through his Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

He was re-arrested in London and returned to Nigeria on June 26 after four years of hiding in the United Kingdom.

He was remanded under DSS custody on June 29 and the date for the resumption of the trial set as July 26.

Mr Kanu and three others are on trial on alleged treasonable felony and terrorism as well as jumping bail. He committed the latter offence in September 2017 after soldiers invaded his family house in Afaruku, Abia State.

His failure to attend his trial forced the court to revoke his bail and issue a warrant for his arrest in 2019.

Mr Kanu's lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, on Monday informed the court of an application he filed seeking the transfer of his client from DSS custody to a correctional centre.

In a short ruling, Justice Nyako ordered that the lawyer be allowed to see his client and asked the prosecution to ensure the accused appears in court on October 21.

The judge insisted that Mr Kanu must physically be brought to court since he is now available for trial.

The judge stated, however, that if the prosecution is able to get a fiat from the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, the court can reschedule the hearing.

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