The trial of the leader of the indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu on Monday, June 20, took a different turn when his counsel accused the defendants of sidelining him.
At the resumed hearing today, June 20, the counsel to all the defendants – three of them – in the matter, Chuks Muoma told the court that felt embarrassed by the attitude of the accused persons.
Muoma said he was only informed about the second defendant’s decision to sack him.
In his anger, he said he expected 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 wi 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 to represent him.
“When I left the prison yesterday, I put a call to one of the lawyers – Ifeanyi Ejiofor – I was unable to reach him but later returned my call and told me he was away of the latest development,” he said.
He said he had expected that he would have expected that the former counsel leada the defense while he resumes on the next trial date.
He also explained to the court that himself (Nzelu) and Muoma hail from the same town in Anambra and cannot drag a client.
“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.
The trio – Kanu, Nwabugwu and David Nwawuisi are currently facing trial for alleged possession of firearms and mismanagement of an unlawful society instituted against them by the Department of State Services.