A palpable sense of tension has gripped Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) resumes today, Monday July 26, 2021.
1st News reports that security has also been beefed up around parts of the city.
Nnamdi Kanu is standing trial over a number of charges including treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of arms, among others. The detained IPOB leader has also been accused by the Federal Government of inciting attacks against security forces.
A 1st News correspondent on ground in Abuja reports that the Federal High Court, Maitama, venue of today’s court session; as well as parts of the Maitama district hosting the court began to witness heavy security presence from yesterday; Sunday July 25, 2021. Specifically, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had been deployed to the entrance of the court premises. Some of them were also sighted in parts of the Ministry of Justice building.
Hospitality services in the vicinity of the court have also been affected; with many patrons of hotels and restaurants facing enquiries from DSS operatives and having their free movements restricted.
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A crowd is also expected to throng the court premises today as supporters of Nnamdi Kanu have indicated their intention to turn up in their numbers to show solidarity with the detained separatist leader. The foregoing has contributed to the sense of tension in the city.
1st News reports that Nnamdi Kanu was repatriated to Nigeria in late June after being arrested in Kenya. The activist had been standing trial in Nigeria over alleged treason before jumping bail.
He has since attributed his action to fears over his safety.
The activist was away from Nigeria for four years until he was repatriated and arraigned in court in Abuja on June 29. However, his lawyers had claimed that he was kidnapped and unlawfully brought back to Nigeria. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer to the detained IPOB leader, alleged that he was held for eight days; before being turned over to Nigerian authorities. Also, he had accused Kenyan authorities of torturing and dehumanizing the activist.