From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOP), Nnamdi Kanu has approached a Federal High Court to declare its practice direction which ordered that his trial should be done in secret null and void.
In an orginating summons filed by his counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiafor, the IPOP leader asked the court to declare that the provisions of Order III of the Federal High Court Practice Directions (On Trial of Terrorism Cases) 2022, were already the subject of Section 36 (4)(a) and (b) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, and consequently, “they areotiose, inoperative and outrightly ultra vires.”
In addition, he asked the court to declare it “invalid, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”
Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho and its Chief Registrar were listed as defendants in the suit which processes were obtained by journalists on Monday.
Justice John Tsoho, had released a new practice direction for the trial of terrorism cases before the court.
The cases of Nnamdi Kanu, Bureau de Change operators indicted over sponsorship of terrorism, and Boko Haram suspects are currently before the court.
Justice Tsoho said the new practice direction was in the exercise of his constitutional powers as enshrined in Section 254 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
Under the new arrangement, the court said media coverage of proceedings is strictly prohibited.
“Coverage of proceedings under these practice directions is strictly prohibited, save as may be directed by the court. A person who contravenes an order or direction made under these practices shall be deemed to have committed an offence contrary to Section 34(5) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 as amended,” the document stated.
The IPOB leader also wants an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants , whether by themselves, servants, agents, privies, and all other officers and agents of the Federal High Court of Nigeria from applying and enforcing the provisions of the Federal High Court Practice Directions (On Trial of Terrorism Cases) 2022.