The trial of the self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in the treasonable felony charges brought against him by the Federal Government of Nigeria, is set to commence on October 21.
This was contained in the official notice of trial issued by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.
Titled “Federal Republic of Nigeria Versus Nnamdi Kanu”, the notice of trial was marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/15 and served on Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor and that of the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran.
This move now signal the resumption of full-blown prosecution of Kanu.
The one-page document showed that the court carefully and explicitly spelt out the dos and don’ts for lawyers of the contending parties to avoid an abortion of the trial which commenced in 2015 when Kanu was first arrested in Lagos upon arrival from the United Kingdom.
The document read in part, “This case will be transferred from the General Cause List to the hearing paper for Thursday 21st October 2021at 9 o’clock forenoon and will come on to be on that day if the business of the court permits or otherwise on some adjustment day of which you will receive no further notice.
“If either party desires to postpone the hearing, he must apply to the court as soon as possible for that purpose and if the application is based on any matter of fact, he must be prepared to give proof of those facts.
“The parties are warned that at the hearing, they are required to bring forward all the evidence by witnesses or by documents which each of them desires to rely on in support of his own case and in contradiction of that of his opponent.
“The proof will be required at the hearing and not on a subsequent day, and parties failing to bring their evidence forward at the proper time may find themselves absolutely precluded from adducing it at all, or at best only allowed to do so on payment of substantial costs to the other side, and on such other terms as the court fits to impose.
“Parties desirous to enforce the attendance of witnesses should apply at once to the court to issue one or more summonses for the attendance of the witnesses required.
“It is indispensable that the application should be made so as to allow time for reasonable notice to the witnesses required.
“If the witness is required to bring books or papers, they must be particularized in the summons sufficiently to enable him to understand what is meant.
”Any party summoning a witness through the court thereby becomes liable to pay such witness reasonable sum of money to be fixed by the court for his expense and loss of time.
“The court may refuse to enforce the attendance of a witness unless such sum has been fixed and deposited in the court.
“If either party desires to use in evidence at the hearing, any book or document in the possession or power of the other party, he must give the other party, reasonable notice in writing to produce It at the hearing, failing which he will not be allowed to give any secondary evidence of its contents.”
Kanu is expected to face the trial before Justice Binta Nyako.