The Federal High Court in Abuja was jam-packed with security presence in readiness for the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The trial, which resumed today, was abruptly suspended on December 13, after he and other defendants angrily challenged the court’s decision to allow the use of “protected” witnesses.
Mr. Kanu, and three others, David Nwawuisi, Benjamin Madubugwu and Chidiebere Onwudiwe, are accused of treasonable felony by the Nigerian government.
The judge, Binta Nyako, had ruled in December 2016 that witnesses would be allowed some degree of protection.
Nyako had said: “The counsels and the defendants will see the witnesses. The witnesses will have special entrances to and outside the court.”
“It is not going to be a secret trial,” Nyako said.
She also held that the court would permit the witnesses to be shielded with screen-guards and the witnesses names will be protected and marked with alphabets.
Tuesday’s session, it was learnt, witnessed a large number of armed security officers, comprising mainly of mobile police officers and operatives of the State Security Service, gathered in front of the court, while court security personnel barred journalists from entering the building.
The officers working for the court said they had orders not to let journalists in, except those with Federal High Court tags.
Some journalists were later allowed in after Mr. Kanu’s lawyer intervened.