The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, imposed a fine of N200, 000 on the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, for scuttling the trial of four former co-defendants of Nnamd Kanu.
The four defendants – Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudike, Benjamin Maduagwu and David Nwaurusi – were until February 2018 co-defendants in the same case with Mr Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Binta Nyako, the trial judge, on February 20, 2018, ordered a separate trial for Mr Kanu, who had then stopped attending trial and fled the country for months following the invasion of his house in Abia State by the military in September 2017.
Mr Kanu, who was brought back to the country under unclear circumstances by the federal government in June last year, is now facing terrorism and treasonable felony charges alone in a separate case.
On Wednesday, Mrs Nyako ordered that each of Mr Kanu’s former co-defendants be paid N50,000 by the AGF for the inconveniences they suffered as a result of the absence of the lead prosecutor from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Shuaib Labaran.
Mrs Nyako, who was visibly angry at the way the trial was scuttled on Wednesday, ordered that the total sum of N200, 000 must be paid to the defendants before the next trial date fixed for March 17.