There was palpable pressure in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday ahead of Nnamdi Kanu’s trial.
Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) was scheduled to be arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja, following his rearrest on June 27.
The IPOB leader was expected to stand trial on an 11-count charge bordering on “terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.”
Ahead of his appearance in court today, there was a heavy security presence and the atmosphere became more charged as supporters of the embattled IPOB leader staged a protest at the entrance of the Federal High Court headquarters.
For the protesting supporters, the call was simple, all that was requested was to produce Nnamdi Kanu and grant his lawyers and family access to see him.
Their push was not so different from that of the defense who argued that Kanu cannot get a fair trial if he remains in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Kanu’s lawyer also sought an order to grant him access to his medical doctor for the purpose of carrying out a comprehensive independent medical examination on him.
In her verdict, Justice Nyako ordered that the DSS should allow access to Mr. Kanu, although it won’t be a free-for-all. The judge further ordered that the IPOB leader will remain in the custody of the DSS despite a request to transfer him to Kuje correctional centre.
Upon failure of the DSS to produce the Pro-Biafra activist in court today, the judge adjourned the trial to October 21. The DSS said Kanu’s absence in court was due to logistics reasons, an excuse that did not sit well with his supporters.
Below are more photos from the scene of the protest in Abuja where proponents of Kanu asked that the IPOB leader be given a fair trial and granted all rights due to him.