A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Federal Government to pay N200,000 to four individuals earlier charged with the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The four, who are now being tried separately on treasonable felony charge, are Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudike, Benjamin Maduagwu and David Nwaurusi.
Justice Binta Nyako, in a ruling on Wednesday, ordered the prosecution to pay each of the defendants N50,000 for stalling proceedings in the case.
The judge’s position was informed by the complaint by the defence about the absence of the prosecution lawyer in court and that the defendants were subjected to unnecessary hardship of raising funds to attend court from their base outside Abuja.
A lawyer, Mrs Adewumi Aluko later walked in mid-way into the proceedings.
Mrs. Aluko said she was from the Federal Ministry of Justice and apologised that the the lead prosecuting lawyer, Labaran Magaji travelled abroad.
She said the prosecution has two witnesses in court but would not want to proceed in Magaji’s absence.
She prayed for an adjournment.
Although Mrs. Aluko apologised for the prosecution’s inability to proceed, Justice Nyako frowned at the prosecution’s conduct and counselled it to be more diligent in handling the case.
Justice Nyako equally extended similar advice to the defence to stop using frivolous applications to delay proceedings in the case that commenced in 2015.
The judge then adjourned till March 17, 2022.