The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja to be transferred from the custody of the State Security Service (SSS) to prison.
Alluding to a worsening heart condition, Mr Kanu also urged the court to make an order granting him access to his cardiology doctor.
The separatist, who was granted bail in April 2017, fled the country after the invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, by the military in September of that year. Mr Kanu was rearrested and brought back to Nigeria in June, about four years after his trial on charges of treasonable felony was stalled due to his disappearance from the country.
He was produced in court on June 29, when the trial judge, Binta Nyako, ordered him to be remanded in the custody of the SSS and adjourned the case till today (Monday).
The hearing resumed with the arrival of the judge around 11.10 a.m. on Monday.
Mr Kanu was conspicuously absent as the SSS, curiously, failed to produce him in court.
The trial was stalled not just because of Mr Kanu’s absence from court, but also because the judges of the court began their vacation on Monday, the trial judge, Binta Nyako, said.
Earlier, the prosecuting lawyer, M. B Abubakar, informed the judge that Mr Kanu’s absence might be due to “logistical” issues encountered by the SSS, the agency holding him in custody.
However, Mr Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, countered the claim of the prosecution, saying the IPOB leader had been moved out of Abuja.
It remains unclear why the SSS failed to produce him in court on Monday, as the operatives of the spy agency had taken over the premises and the adjoining roads much earlier before the proceedings started at about 11.10a.m.
Mrs Nyako subsequently adjourned the trial till October 21.