Lawyer to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, has described as a joke taken too far the decision of the Federal government to file fresh 15-count amended charges against Kanu barely 24 hours of his appearance in court is a ploy to delay the case.
Kanu will enter a fresh plea to a 15-count charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 and signed by Director of Public Prosecution, M.B Abubakar as it was filed yesterday.
Reacting to this development, Ejiofor in a statement released, described the charges as a waste of legal procedures.
His statement reads,
“I visited Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in the company of Bar. Maxwell Opara and Prince Emmanuel Kanu, for a final brief on the level of our preparedness for tomorrow’s legal onslaught.
The meeting also afforded us the opportunity to further brief Onyendu on a completely ridiculous 15-Count Amended Charge filed and served on us today, the 17th day of January 2022 on a matter already fixed for hearing of our Preliminary Objection tomorrow, the 18th day of January, 2022. What a joke!
Today, we were served with a 15-Count Amended Charge filed by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation in respect of a case already scheduled tomorrow, for the hearing of our preliminary objection challenging the competence of the 7-Count Amended Charge.
This is indeed a joke taken too far as the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is now scouting for an opportunity to truncate tomorrow’s proceeding, knowing fully well that the smokescreen charge is dead on arrival.
We wish to categorically point out with dismay, that this further Amended Charge is the WORST kind of abuse of legal process that we have encountered in the history of legal practice – either in Nigeria or anywhere in the world.
This 15-Count Amended Charge was no doubt brought in bad faith and is aimed at needlessly prolonging proceedings in the cause. The same FGN that brought our Client to Court is needlessly initiating processes that will delay the trial.
It is worthy to note that an Amended 7-Count Charge had earlier been filed against Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu since October 2021, pursuant to which a preliminary objection was raised against this 7-Count Amended Charge. The parties have fully filed and exchanged processes and arguments on the objection, and the same has been set down for hearing.
Brazenly, a day before the hearing date, and without affording the court the opportunity to listen to arguments on the objection, and take a decision on the objection raised one way or the other, the prosecution, in utter bad faith, filed a further Amended Charge to supercede and supplant the earlier Amended Charge on which issues have been joined on the objection raised against it. This is indeed, the worst kind of abuse of the court process.
Although the prosecution has the liberty to amend a charge, it cannot exercise that prerogative to abuse the process of the court, or to supplant an objection that has been raised against an earlier amendment, which has not been decided on, or to overreach the defence, or to render nugatory or as a fait accompli, the decision of the court on a pending preliminary objection against an Amended Charge that is yet to be determined.
Nevertheless, we herein assure UmuChineke that we have already devised a solution to every of their antics, it will only end in court, they can only run thus far. We, therefore, urge you all to await the legal fireworks in court tomorrow. There must be light at the end of the tunnel.
Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is still in strong spirit and will be in court Live, tomorrow. We are fully prepared and ever ready for tomorrow’s outing, and as usual, we crave for your relentless prayers and peaceful solidarity.
We are reiterating Onyendu’s request for civility in your conduct as you have always done, within and outside the court. The World is watching and it shall end in Praises.
Thank you all, UMUCHINEKE and remain blessed.”