By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
The embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has pleaded not guilty to the fresh amended 15-count charge preferred against him by the Federal Government.
Kanu, who appeared before a Federal High Court in Abuja for his trial on Wednesday, pleaded innocence of all the charges against him just as he noted that some counts in the amended charge were similar.
Persecondnews.com had reported yesterday that the detained IPOB leader’s trial was stalled on Tuesday, January 18 and adjourned until Wednesday, January 19, after he objected to the fresh charges.
The federal government had on Monday, January 17, amended the terrorism charges against the IPOB leader, thereby increasing the counts from seven to 15.
Kanu is currently entering his plea to the fresh amended charge against him which borders on his alleged commission of acts of terrorism, felony, incitement, unlawful importation of a radio transmitter, and headship of an illegal organization.
However, Kanu’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who took over on Tuesday, told the court that he had on Tuesday evening, filed a 43-page preliminary objection for the charges to be quashed and struck out without the matter proceeding to trial.
He said: “We are further asking that the defendant should be discharged and acquitted as there is nothing in this charge. It has no basis at all.
“We also have a motion requesting the court to grant bail to the defendant.’’
In a brief ruling, Justice Nyako noted that since Kanu’s first application is challenging the propriety of his trial as well as the competence of the charge against him, the court ought to hear it first.
Consequently, the court adjourned till February 16 to hear the pending application.