*Bars Lawyer, Journalists, Activists
*Police Knock Sowore, Others
Ade-Ade Bosun, Abuja.
Preparatory to the commencement of the trials of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, blocked all access to the Abuja Federal High Court on Monday morning. Following the development, lawyers and journalists billed to cover the event were barred from the court.
The seige on the area began as early as 6am when armed DSS operatives, a number on motorbikes, were already on ground at strategic points in and around the court premisses. Stern looking and business like, they refused any and everyone they judged as having no business with the day’s proceeding, access to the court. In the main, they insisted on giving access only to media outlets identified in a prepared list.
The operatives also barred a group of people purported to be representatives of Igbo Lawyers Worldwide. However, while the cat and mouse race over who enters the court or not raged, a group of activists, led by Omoyele Sowore, attempt to protest their ways into the court. They were promptly stopped, arrested and later taken away a nearby police facility where they were later released.
“They have just released us. They dragged, harassed and beat us. They took us to the Federal Secretariat Police Station. I told them that they have no right to arrest me. I have a right to observe the trial of Nnamdi Kanu. They took our cards and deleted all recordings,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, the Court adjourned sitting after briefly hearing the Kanu case. The case is now scheduled to come for hearing on October 26.
Kanu is in court over treasonable felony allegations, one that is punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. He, alongside others, is also being accused of managing the affairs of an alleged terrorist organization. That is in addition to smuggling radio transmitters into Nigeria, with intent to using same for disseminating “hate broadcasts” and encouraging the “secession of the Republic of Biafra”, from Nigeria.
“on or about the 28th April, 2015 in London, United Kingdom did in a broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu, Enugu state and other parts of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, referred to Major General Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a paedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil, knowing same to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C. 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004,” the charges read in part.