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Terrorism/treason charges: I’m not guilty, says Nnamdi Kanu

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on Thursday pleaded not guilty to seven counts filed against him at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Kanu was also challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter on the grounds that the alleged offenses were committed in the United Kingdom and not in Nigeria.

His lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, made the disclosure shortly after his re-arraignment before Justice Binta Nyako.

Kanu was in June re-arrested in Kenya and extradited to the country to face trial.

He was first arrested in a Lagos Hotel in 2015 by operatives of the Department of State Service and was arraigned alongside four others in 2016.

During Thursday’s re-arraignment, Kanu was sported wearing a white Fendi clothe and was ushered into the courtroom at exactly 10 am by security operatives and took a fresh plea to the amended charge at about 10:45 am.

Just like the earlier charge, Kanu also pleaded not guilty to the fresh charge.

His lawyer requested that he be should be transferred to the custody of the Correctional Service Centre.

Justice Nyako declined to grant the request on the grounds that it would be in the interest of Kanu to remain with the DSS.

The court had ordered that the IPOB leader be kept in the custody of the DSS, pending his arraignment and commencement of trial.

Meanwhile, Justice Nyako had adjourned to November 10 for a hearing of Kanu’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try him as well as the competence of the charge.

Among the issues raised in the notice of preliminary objection was that the prosecution did not in any way link the defendant to the charges.

According to him, the alleged offenses were also said to be committed in the United Kingdom amongst others.

Meanwhile, Igbo sociopolitical organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo has accused the Federal Government of conducting a secret trial of Nnamdi Kanu.

Chief Ralph Uwazurike, who spoke alongside former Anambra Governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, said the socio-cultural group condemned the trial in its entirety because they were barred from covering the proceedings.

Kanu arrived at the Federal High Court in Abuja amidst tight security.

He was brought to the court in a black Sports Utility Vehicle at about 8 am.

He was seen adorning a white Fendi designer clothe and was ushered into the courtroom at exactly 10 am by security operatives.

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