The Department of State Services (DSS) has accused the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, of attempts to stall the commencement of his trial.
Speaking in court, the prosecuting counsel standing brief for the Director of Public Prosecution said it was obvious the defence was bent on stalling the trial.
S. Labaran who stood in for the DSS said: “The defendants are out to truncate the proceedings of this honourable court.”
Labaran also told the court that he was served a motion on notice by the defence this morning in court.
“And I feel it will be most expedient that we respond to the motion,” Labaran said.
But making an appeal for the second defendant who had just sacked his lawyer and hired a new one, counsel to the first and second defendants, Chuks Muoma said if the prosecution needs time to respond to the motion, that can be handled by the court.
“But I believe in being fair for all, it may not be fair to the second defendant and his counsel if this matter starts tomorrow,” Muoma said.
Muoma continued: “The case file I have here right now is bulky and I don’t know how he is going tp go through all of it and appear for the matter immediately.”
To this Labaran told the court that the prosecution would not be objecting to Mouma’s appeal for more time for the second defendant’s counsel to go through the proceedings of the case.
He also said that depite the turnout of events today, the prosecution would be guided by the court.
Having listened to all submissions and appeal, the judge over the John Tsoho adjourned the matter to September 26 to 29, for hearing on the motion on notice and commencement of trial.
Meanwhile, a little altercation occured when Kanu’s counsel accused the defendants of sidelining him.
Muoma said he was only informed about the second defendant’s decision to sack him.
In his anger, he said he expected that if his client had a change in counsel representation, he deserved to be in the know of their plans.
Muoma further stated that: “And until that is settled, my appearance in this matter will be conditional.”
But in his defence, the new counsel who introduced himself as Amobi Nzelu to stand in for the second defendant, Benjamin Nwabugwu said it was not in his place to respond to the allegation.
Nzelu however said: “Ordinarily, I would not have responded but would have allowed the accused persons to respond over their decision.
“But because I was accused of extracting one of his clients from him, as a lead in this matter, I must respond,” Nzelu said.
He added that it was only yesterday – Sunday, June 19 – that he was informed of his client’s decision.
“When I left the prison yesterday, I put a call to one of the lawyers – Ifeanyi Ejiofor – I was unable to reach him but he later returned my call and told me he was aware of the latest development,” he said.
He also explained to the court that himself (Nzelu) and Muoma hail from the same town in Anambra and cannot struggle over clients.
“I cannot take a brief from my elder brother, my lord. So my elder brother let us settle this without involving the judge… It was just yesterday that I was briefed,” Nzelu said.
Following this, the judge on his quest to clarify matters asked Nwabugwu to tell the court who he wants to represent him.
“I want to tell the court that Chief Amobi Nzelu is here to represent me as my new lawyer,” the second defendant said.