There was a mild drama at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court this morning, as security operatives, barred former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode from entering inside the court 4, scheduled to deliver ruling on whether the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, should be released on bail.
Kanu, who was hitherto the Director of Radio Biafra and Television, is facing trial alongside three other pro-Biafra agitators, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.
Trial Justice Nyako had slated today to rule on applications by the defendants seeking to be admitted to bail pending determination of the five-count criminal charge the Federal Government slammed against them.
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Fani-Kayode, who is equally facing criminal charges the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him, upon his arrival at the court to face his trial, sought to gain entry into the sister court handing Kanu’s case but was blocked by operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS.
It took the intervention of lawyers to persuade the security operatives to let the former Minister into the courtroom, even though officials of Kuje Prison had yet to bring the defendants to court for the ruling.
Atmosphere within the heavily-guarded high court premises is tensed, with many pro-Biafra supporters, brandishing different Biafra insignia and flags, chanting at a distance, as they were also barred from standing within perimeters of the court premises by gun wielding security men.
Journalists are equally facing tough hurdle to gain entry into the court room, with a few that managed to squeeze in, ordered to surrender their handsets.
The ruling will also determine whether FG should be allowed to shield identities of witnesses billed to testify against the defendants.
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri