· DSS accredits ten media houses only for coverage.
All access roads to the court will be blocked by the police.
Former Anambra Governor to lead Ohaneze Ndigbo delegation.
National Legal Adviser of Ohaneze Nidigbo, Barrister Joseph Ojobu and Chief Goddy Uwazurike to represent the body on a watching brief.
Ten Senior Advocates of Nigeria to represent Kanu.
Police ready for any protest in Abuja during trial.
A group of heavily armed DSS operatives have as at 1900 hours of Sunday July 25 surrounded the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja ahead of the court appearance of Nnamdi Kanu, the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB on Monday July 26 Patmos Media Line reports
There are speculations that concerned Igbos may stage protests across notable places in Abuja and none protest tolerant police have mapped out strategy to ward them off.
The Department of State Service (DSS) has accredited ten media houses for the July 26 coverage of the trial of Nnamdi Kanu in a move that is uncommon in media coverage and already seen as one of the intentions to gag the press as criteria for selection were not known.
Accredited media are The Nation; Premium Times; Thisday; Newspot; The Herald and Daily Independent newspapers while the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is leading the broadcast side. Other broadcast media are the Channels Television, Africa Independent Television, AIT, and Television Continental, TVC.
Even prominent old newspapers like Tribune, Guardian, Punch and Vanguard are left out by the secret police. Approved foreign media are not listed but the CNN which had issues with the Federal Government over the Lekki Endsars protests may get the story from their colleagues as Journalists usually do.
The restriction of media houses into the courtroom was part of the security measures put in place by the management of the Federal High Court in Abuja and DSS to control crowds at the court premises.
The DSS is spearheading the trial on behalf of the Federal Government and is expected to provide adequate security at the venue of the trial.
Sources confided in our correspondent that adequate security measures have been put in place by various security agencies to ward off possible breakdown of order or unruly behavior from any quarter during the trial.
Security operatives may block all roads leading to the court to prevent vehicular movement while thorough checking of staff of the court and visitors will be undertaken as done in Kaduna during the trails of IMN leader, ElZakky Zaky.
An Activist, Adeyanju charged IPOB supporters to storm the court on Monday and not be intimidated.
The Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has appointed a former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, to lead the Ohanaeze’s delegation to the trial of the leader of Kanu in Abuja on Monday.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide President General, Prof. George Obiozor, made the appointment, also said its National Legal Adviser, Barrister Joseph Ojobu and Chief Goddy Uwazurike would be the lawyers representing the group on a watching brief.
Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor had noted that nothing would change the day of trial, as earlier scheduled.
There had been speculations that Kanu’s case might not come up on the said date courtesy of the annual vacation for Nigerian judges.
The judges’ vacation is expected to start on July 26 and would end on September 17, 2021.
However, in a statement on Friday, Kanu’s lawyer, Barrister Ejiofor had revealed that the case would be called up for hearing as scheduled.
He wrote; “We have just received a confirmation from Federal High Court Abuja that the hearing on our Client’s case above referred will still go on as earlier scheduled on Monday next week being the 26th day of July 2021.”
The lawyer also urged Kanu's supporters to offer prayers to God for him and for the legal team.
“Remember Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the entire Legal team in your prayers. Thank you all and remain blessed,” he wrote.
Justice Binta Nyako is expected to preside over the trial while a senior lawyer from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Shuaib Labaran, will lead the prosecution team for the government.
It gathered that about 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) have been assembled by family members and well-wishers of Kanu to provide adequate defence for the accused secession agitator.
It will be recalled that after over two years of manhunt, the Federal Government rearrested the Biafran leader in Kenya and was immediately brought to Nigeria for continuation of his trial.
The Attorney General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, had on Tuesday June 29 at an emergency media briefing in his office in Abuja announced the re- arrest of Kanu.
Nnamdi Kanu, who was earlier put on trial on charges bothering on terrorism, treasonable felony and sponsorship of unlawful organization, had jumped bail granted him by the federal high court and escaped from Nigeria shortly after the bail was perfected for him by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe who volunteered to stand surety for him.
Justice Binta Nyako who granted him bail on the ground of his Ill health, had revoked the bail on March 28, 2019 and issued a bench warrant for his arrest in any part of Nigeria.
- Eniola Olatunji reporting.