From Elohor Igbru , Abuja
It was a tug of war between security agents, journalists and legal practitioners at the Federal High Court Abuja, at the schedulere-arraignment of the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu is expected to take a fresh plea before trial Justice Binta Nyako, on an amended seven-count charge bordering on incitement, treasonable felony and terrorism.
At dawn, security operatives from the Department of State Service (DSS), the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigerian Army, blocked all roads leading to the high court premises which is adjacent the Federal Ministry of Justice Headquarters.
Tough looking DSS operatives threatened to deal with journalists caught taking a picture or recording in the area while cameramen from major television stations in the country, including those from the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, were ordered to shut down and face it on an uncompleted building opposite the court premises.
Civil servants working at the court premises were also barred initially but after a heated argument, were allowed to proceed to their offices.
The Federal Government had in the mended charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, which was signed by a team of government lawyers led by the Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mr. M. B. Abubakar, alleged that Kanu had in furtherance of an act of terrorism, issued a deadly threat that anyone that flouted his sit-at-home order should write his or her will.
The government also alleged that as a result of Kanu’s directive, banks, schools, markets, shopping malls, fuel stations were not opened for businesses, with vehicular movements grounded in the South East region of the country.
It said the action amounted to an offence contrary to and punishable under 1(2) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.
Other charges against Kanu are: “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 pedophile, 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”.
He was alleged to have committed treasonable felony, an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
He was alleged to had between 2018 and 2021, through Radio Biafra, professed to be a member of IPOB, a proscribed organization in Nigeria, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.