From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The trial of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, will resume on Thursday, in the treasonable felony charges filed against him by the Federal Government.
Already, the Abuja division of the Federal High Court has issued a hearing notice slated for the trial.
Meanwhile, the court has directed all parties to bring their witnesses and any other documents that would be needed to support their case, as it would not entertain delay tactics.
The hearing notice entitled “Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs Nnamdi Kanu” was marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/15 and served on Kanu’s lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, and the prosecution counsel, Mr Shuaib Labaran.
The document spelt out the dos and don’ts for lawyers of the contending parties to avoid an abortion of the trial which commenced in 2015, when Kanu was first arrested in Lagos upon arrival from the United Kingdom.
The document read in part: “This case will be transferred from the General Cause List to the hearing paper for Thursday 21st October, 2021, at 9 O’clock forenoon and will come on to be on that day if the business of the court permits or, otherwise, on some adjustment day of which you will receive no further notice.
“If either party desires to postpone the hearing, he must apply to the court as soon as possible for that purpose, and if the application is based on any matter of fact, he must be prepared to give proof of those facts.
“The parties are warned that at the hearing, they are required to bring forward all the evidence by witnesses or by documents which each of them desires to rely on in support of his own case and in contradiction of that of his opponent.”
“The proof will be required at the hearing and not on a subsequent day, and parties failing to bring their evidence forward at the proper time may find themselves absolutely precluded from adducing it at all, or at best only allowed to do so on payment of substantial costs to the other side, and on such other terms as the court fits to impose.
“Parties desirous to enforce the attendance of witnesses should apply at once to the court, to issue one or more summonses for the attendance of the witnesses required.
“It is indispensable that the application should be made, so as to allow time for reasonable notice to the witnesses required. If the witness is required to bring books or papers, they must be particularised in the summons sufficiently to enable him to understand what is meant.
“Any party summoning a witness through the court, thereby, becomes liable to pay such witness a reasonable sum of money to be fixed by the court for his expense and loss of time.
“The court may refuse to enforce the attendance of a witness unless such sum has been fixed and deposited in the court.
“If either party desires to use evidence at the hearing, any book or document in the possession or power of the other party, he must give the other party, reasonable notice in writing, to produce it at the hearing, failing which he will not be allowed to give any secondary evidence of its contents.”