The Federal High Court has rejected an application by the Department of State Services (DSS) for the trial of Biafran activist, Nnamdi Kanu, to be held in secret.
The 48-year-old leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group, which campaigns for the independence of Biafra in the southeast of Nigeria, appeared in the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday to face six charges of treasonable felony, along with two accomplices.
Kanu denies all the charges against him. Treason carries a possible sentence of life imprisonment in Nigeria, according to section 41 of Nigeria’s Criminal Code Act 1990.
The U.K.-based activist, also the director of underground station Radio Biafra, was arrested by members of Nigerian State Security Service (DSS) in Lagos in October 2015 and held in their custody until January. On January 20, the court ordered that Kanu be transferred from DSS custody to Kuje Prison in Abuja. He was later denied bail on the grounds that he was apparently a threat to national security.
Justice John Tsoho rejected an appeal by the prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Diri, for the trial to be held in secret and judged that it should be open to the public, according to an AFP reporter attending the trial.
Tsoho also adjourned the trial until February 19.