The detained director of Radio Biafra and self-proclaimed leader of Igbo secessionists, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, will remain in custody for another 90 days for further investigation on terrorism financing.
The Directorate of State Security (DSS) told the chief magistrate’s court sitting in Abuja to stay proceedings on earlier sedition charges brought against the accused.
The secret police maintained the court had no power to try the case of felony and sedition for which Mr Kanu had been arrested.
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will remain in custody for another 90 days for investigation on the new charges.
The DSS had on Monday produced the detained activist in court in compliance with a previous order of the court.
Chief Magistrate Shauibu Usman berated the DSS over its failure to produce Mr Kanu in court on two consecutive times the matter came up before the court.
At the resumed hearing, Mr Kanu begged to be transferred to prison custody.
He has been accused of engaging in criminal conspiracy, managing and belonging to an unlawful society, and indulging in criminal intimidation.
His lawyer, Mr Vincent Obeta, insisted that transferring his client to prison would enable him to have easy access to his legal team.
Mr Obeta made the application shortly after the DSS urged the magistrate’s court to relinquish Mr Kanu’s trial because the matter had moved to the High Court.
Through its lawyer, Mr Moses Idakwo, the DSS said that it has already secured an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja to further detain Mr Kanu for another 90 days.
It said that the order which was granted by Justice Ademola Adeniyi, was to enable the government to conclude investigations into the allegation that Mr Kanu was involved in terrorist financing.
The agency maintained that the government would file the fresh charge against Mr Kanu before a higher court, once its ongoing investigation is concluded.
Mr Idakwo argued that the magistrate’s court lacked the power and jurisdiction to prosecute terrorism charges.
The application was vehemently opposed by Mr Kanu’s lawyer Mr Obeta, who insisted that the bail earlier granted the accused person must firstly be complied with before any application for transfer of the case to a federal high court could be entertained.
The court adjourned till December 1 to rule on its competence to hear the case as Mr Kanu was whisked away by the security operatives.
SOURCE: AFRICA REVIEW