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Rights groups fear secret trial of Kanu

15 February 2016, 08:50Emeka Okonkwo

Abuja - A coalition of human rights groups in the Southeast has opposed any plans for a secret trial of activist, Nnamdi Kanu.

This follows reports Justice John Tsoho would emerge as the next Chief Justice.

The Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organisations (SBCHROs) said “reliable” sources had informed that the current CJ, Ibrahim Auta and his second in command, Adamu Abdu Kafarati might most likely bow out of the bench in 2017 at the same time on the grounds of mandatory retirement age of 65 and 35 years of service respectively.

This, they said, might pave way for Tsoho to emerge as the next CJ as he is third in command.

The organisations have previously criticised Tsoho of the Court 3 Division of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, for his handling of the case of Kanu, who is facing terrorism charges.

Also Read: Dad says Kanu brilliant, intelligent

They alleged even before the trial was yet to commence, Tsoho had already found Kanu guilty during his ruling on bail application on of January 29.

“Nigerians and members of the international community should not express surprises if the trial Judge, as usual, grants or rules in favour of secret trial of Kanu (POC) and others,” SBCHROs said.

“Seeking for secret trial of Nnamdi Kanu and others is a total indication of trumped up charges and trumped up trial with trumped up witnesses and pieces of evidence. This is not only a case of persecution; but also a clear manifestation of the fact that Auta Justice is already returned!”

Auta headed a military tribunal constituted by late Gen Sani Abacha that condemned to death Ken Saro Wiwa and other eight Ogoni activists, leading to their hanging on in 1995 without a right of appeal.

Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Kanu in October in Lagos. His quest for freedom has failed after DSS defied court orders to release him.

- CAJ News


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