A federal high court in Abuja on Tuesday granted a request made by the Nigerian government to protect the identities of prosecution witnesses in the trial of IPOB leader and Radio Biafra director, Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu and three others, Benjamin Madubugwu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and David Nwawuisi are facing trial on charges of treasonable felony and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism.
Presiding Judge Binta Nyako, reviewed the motion filed by counsel to the government, Mohammed Labaran and found it ‘meritorious’. She added that the prayer to shield the witnesses mostly law enforcement agents was supported by the law. In her words;
It is therefore the court’s order that the names and addresses of the prosecution witnesses shall only remain with the court.
“The prosecution witnesses who should appear in combination of alphabets will be given screens, which will be provided by the court.The defendants and their counsel will however be able to see the witnesses before they testify.Let the public not misconstrue the stance of the court as a grant for a secret trial.The court shall be open for public, including accredited journalists and families of the defendants.”
The defendants violently protested against the ruling stating that such a request was a violation of their human rights.The case was adjourned to January 10th.Treasonable Felony is an offense punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 of the the Nigerian constitution.