The lead counsel to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has said the arrest and arraignment of Nnamdi Kanu earlier Tuesday was without his knowledge.
“We have just confirmed through a correspondence from the Federal High Court Abuja about the arrest and the extradition of my Client- Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigerian State,” Mr Ejiofor said in a statement on Tuesday evening.
“He was brought before the Federal High Court No 2 Abuja today on an Eleven count charge, though without our knowledge,” the attorney added.
He said regardless of the offences or charge against his client, he is still presumed innocent of the allegation under the law.
Mr Kanu, who is being prosecuted on charges of treasonable felony, was re-arrested and returned to Nigeria on Sunday, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said earlier
According to the AGF, the IPOB leader was arrested through “collaborative efforts of Nigerian intelligence and security services.”
Although, Mr Kanu is believed to have fled to the United Kingdom, the AGF did not give the details of the exact place of his arrest and the diplomatic collaborations the operation must have involved.
The trial judge, Binta Nyako, ordered the detention of Mr Kanu in the custody of the State Security Service (SSS) at his first court appearance since 2017 on Tuesday.
The judge also granted an accelerated hearing in the trial involving charges of treasonable felony filed against him.
Mrs Nyako ruled that the case earlier scheduled to come up on October 20, be brought forward to July 26 and 27, 2021.
Speaking in court, Mr Kanu defended himself, insisting that he did not jump bail but only fled the country for safety reasons.
Meanwhile, Mr Ejiofor has said the IPOB legal team will be in court on the date.
“As it is in the public domain, the matter has been consequently adjourned to the 26th Day of July 2021, for continuation of trial,” the lawyer said.
“The legal team ably led by my humble self will meet them in court on this date. We insist that he must be given a fair hearing/trial which is his constitutionally protected right.
“His safety as also guaranteed under our law throughout the trial and afterwards, should be enforced.
Our fortified Legal team will be meeting to agree on strategies within the context of the Charge and disposition of the Court. Await further update from us as we progress.”