Federal High Court considers changing trial venue

The Federal High Court in Abuja is considering changing the venue for the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to address the challenges it poses to judicial staff and other court activities. Business owners, public servants and adjacent road users always face many difficulties when proceedings take place at the court complex along Shehu Shagari Road leading to Maitama, Abuja. Sun reported that Federal High Court Chief Justice John Tsoho revealed the plan to change the venue of the trial to ease the challenges associated with the trial during a courtesy call from newly elected executives of the Abuja chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association ( Unity Bar) on February 16. Tsoho, who said the court was working on a long-term solution to the problem, lamented the restrictions security officials had to put in place during trials. He lamented how the measures always prevented lawyers and other litigants with ongoing cases from entering court due to the trial. He described the road blockade and the strict security measures put in place during the trial as a worrying development for the courts, lawyers and litigants, as other courts presided over by other judges are unable to function every time the case is filed. Tsoho said that although it was a challenge, the court could not avoid the situation. “It’s not really the creation of the court,” Tsoho said, adding that the security arrangement was something that “was forced on the court as a necessary action because of the large number of people interested in the trial.” “If you look, for those who were at the last hearing, the matter was raised, but of course, the roads were cleared because the matter was transferred late in the afternoon. Security agents were advised not to close the access roads to the courthouse until around the time of the trial. We are improving along the line,” Tsoho said. The location of the trial may have to change, Tsoho hinted. “We are exploring the possibility of changing the location of the trial. That will be the best way out, otherwise if the trial continues here, it will interfere with our business. We have 11 courts here, but only one tries Kanu,” he said. When? The head judge did not mention how soon the change of venue might occur. It is not yet possible to specify whether the change of venue will begin with the court’s ruling on Wednesday, scheduled for April 8. Trial Judge Binta Nyako, who is handling Mr. Kanu’s case, heard on Wednesday a request from the defendant challenging the validity of the terrorism and felony treason charges brought against him. After hearing the lawsuit, which was opposed by the federal government’s prosecutorial team, the judge set April 8 to rule. A lawyer, Tope Temokun, recently sued Mr. Tsoho and the State Security Service (SSS), the agency that has held custody of Mr. Kanu since he was returned to the country in June last year, over the restriction of journalists. and others during the trial. Premium Times reported how surprisingly, the SSS complied with the judge’s advice not to block access to the Federal High Court premises during Wednesday’s trial. The trial judge, Ms. Nyako, who set the session for 1 pm, was reported to have advised the SSS officers to inform her office of her recommendation. A morning check on the day of the trial showed that Federal Superior Court staff, lawyers, litigants, journalists, among others, had free access to the high-rise building and its surroundings. There was free movement of people and vehicles in and out of court before and during the hearing of the case. Mr. pleaded not guilty to modified charges of terrorism and felony treason stemming from his alleged separatist activities in January. Other issues Meanwhile, The Sun also reported that Mr. Tsoho assured leaders of the Unity Bar Association of the bank’s willingness to work in harmony with the Bar Association. He also promised to address the issue of impromptu adjournment of cases by court judges without adequate information to lawyers on the matter. advertisements However, he said that given the sudden changes in the schedule of judges and other court officials, impromptu adjournments of cases cannot be avoided. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; Federal High Court considers changing trial venue