The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has challenged the bail condition granted him on April 25 by an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
Mr. Kanu and four other members of his group are facing prosecution by the Nigerian government for alleged treasonable felony and other offences.
Three of the other defendants, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Chidiebere Onwudiwe had also applied for bail, but were refused.
The prosecution recently added a fifth defendant, Bright Chimeze.
According to the defence counsel, Mr. Chimezie has already been granted bail by a high Court in Uyo, the Akwa-Ibom state capital.
Mr. Kanu’s bail was based on 12 major conditions, some of which require him to avoid a crowd of more than 10 people.
His lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had told journalists shortly after Justice Binta Nyako granted the bail that Mr. Kanu would request the court to vary the conditions to allow him enjoy his fundamental rights.
“Remember that Kanu is a Jew. The court, for example, cannot say that Kanu should not go to church, or to a supermarket or any such similar places. That condition and a few others are part of what we are seeking to get the court to interpret,” Mr. Ejiofor said.
The Punch Newspapers had reported that the motion, dated July 1, seeks to challenge the bail condition relating to the number of persons Mr. Kanu was allowed to be seen with.
“An order of this honourable court varying the bail conditions given to the first defendant/applicant on April 25, 2017, by vacating paragraph 2(vii) and (viii) in the said conditions, which stipulates ‘that the first defendant should not be seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people; and that the defendant should not grant any interviews, hold or attend any rallies, respectively.”
“Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (amended) presume as innocent citizens charged with criminal offence, until guilt is proved,” he said.
Mr. Ejiofor further alleged, in his application, that the bail conditions granted his client constitutes a violation of his (Mr. Kanu’s) rights as enshrined in the constitution.
“Paragraph 2(vii) in the order, which stipulates that the first defendant/applicant cannot be seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people, contradicts the applicant’s right to freedom of association, and peaceful assembly granted by Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended).
“Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (amended) provides for citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and press.
“The bail conditions granted the first defendant/applicant, particularly conditions in paragraph 2(vii) and (viii) in the said order, clearly discriminated against the first defendant/applicant, and subjected him to certain disabilities and restrictions.”