The embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was on Monday, arraigned along two others at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Upon his arrival at the premises of the court, Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra, was spotted ‘unapologetically’ wearing a bracelet on his right hand with the inscription ‘I love Biafra’.
He is standing trial on six counts of treasonable felony charges along with Benjamin Madubgwu and James Nwawuisi.
It was gathered that the trial of one of the leaders of a pro-Biafran movement accused of treason failed to begin due to a motion filed by the defence.
The three defendants have been represented by lead counsel Chuks Muoma, but during a hearing before Justice John Tsoho of the Court, today, Muoma claimed a new lawyer had been introduced to represent Madubgwu without his knowledge.
A mild drama started when Muoma accused his clients of judicial misconduct, and threatened to withdraw from the case.
“My lord I am the lead counsel in this matter and courtesy demands that the introduction of a new counsel should be made with my consent,” Mr. Muoma told Justice Tsoho.
“I am a very busy counsel. I am not chasing the priest, the priest is chasing me. If this counsel had come in to be lead counsel, it will be a different case, but he is coming to take away one of my clients. Until these clarifications are made, my further appearance is forestalled.
“I cannot do the wrong thing after almost 45 years at the bar. My conscience cannot allow me to pretend.”
He also told the court to adjourn the trial to allow the new lawyer, Amobi Nzelo, to study the documents relating to the ongoing trial.
In a swift reply, the new counsel, Amoebi Nzelu, representing the second defendant, said:
“Only yesterday at Kuje prison, I was called upon to represent one of the clients.”
“The records are there. I tried to reach one of the counsels by name Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who told me this morning that he was aware of the development, since I did not have the number of the lead counsel.
“The SAN and I are from the same LGA, Orifite in Anambra State. In Orifite. He is the eldest in this profession, and followed by another person, and myself.
“I am not struggling to take your position. I cannot struggle with my elder brother. I am the third in command, in Orifite, while he is the first in command.”
Nzelu also argued that in criminal matters, the law allows a defendant to choose his counsel.
Reacting to Mr. Nzelu’s comments, Mr. Muoma said, “I m not blaming Amoebi Nzelu. I am blaming my clients, you should have informed your counsel. Let me know how your minds are working.”
Meanwhile, Tsoho adjourned the trial to 26 September.