Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and founder of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, has filed a fresh application for bail before Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Kanu has been in the custody of the Department of State Services since October 14, 2015, the day he was arrested in a Lagos hotel, on the allegation that he was plotting the secession of Republic of Biafra from Nigeria.
His fresh bail application, which his lawyer, Mr. Vincent Obetta, filed and served on the Federal Directorate of Public Prosecutions last week, was with respect to the fresh charges of treason and other related offences filed against him and two others.
The Federal Government filed the fresh six counts, including treasonable felony against Kanu and two other co-accused – Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi
The charges, which also include management of an unlawful society, assisting in managing it, illegal possession of firearms and smuggling of a radio transmitter to the country, arose from agitation by Kanu and his IPOB for the secession of the South-East region and some parts of the South-South, Kogi and Benue states from Nigeria as an independent Biafra republic.
Earlier, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the same Federal High Court in Abuja had in his ruling on a bail application by Kalu on December 17, 2015, ordered the DSS to release Kanu unconditionally, having been held in custody for about two months without any formal charges filed against him.
Justice Ademola had also in the ruling set aside the court’s earlier order made on November 10, 2015 , permitting the DSS to detain Kanu for 90 days.
Also earlier on December 16, 2015, a Magistrate’s Court in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, struck out the charge initially filed against Kanu by the DSS following an application by the Services’ lawyer for the withdrawal of the case.
The withdrawal of the case followed series of orders by the magistrate’s court directing the DSS to release Kanu but which were not honoured.
The prosecution preferred fresh charges against Kanu barely 24 hours after Justice Ademola ordered the accused person’s unconditional release from DSS custody.
But on December 23, 2015, when Kanu and the two co-accused were produced in court for arraignment, the IPOB leader refused to take his plea due to what he called his lack of confidence in the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed.
Justice Mohammed promptly returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment to another judge and the three accused persons were returned to the custody of the DSS.
The case has now been re-assigned to Justice Tsoho, one of the judges newly deployed from the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.
It is expected that the fresh bail application filed by Kanu will be taken immediately after his arraignment on a yet-to-be-given date.