The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday granted bail to the co-defendants of the missing leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Justice Binta Nyako had earlier on February 20, 2018 ordered the separation of Kanu’s trial from that of the rest of his co-defendants, as the IPOB leader’s absence from court continued to halt progress in the case.
The co-defendants who now face three counts of treasonable felony are Bright Chimezie; National Coordinator of IPOB, Chidiebere Onwudiwe; an IPOB member, Benjamin Madubugwu, and a former field maintenance engineer seconded to the telecommunication company, MTN, David Nwawuisi.
Ruling on their fresh bail applications which they filed following their re-arraignment on March 20, 2018, Justice Nyako, said the applications succeeded on health grounds and the number of years they had spent in detention.
She also noted that Chimezie had earlier been granted bail by the Federal High Court in Uyo in May 2017 but the Department of State Service which was then holding him in custody refused to release him.
She said the defendants had spent an average of three years in custody when the maximum penalty for the offences they were charged it if convicted ranged from five to seven years.
The judge imposed on the four defendants conditions mostly similar to the ones she attached to bail granted Kanu in April last year, barring them from granting any press interview or participating in any form of gathering or rally.
In addition to those conditions, she ordered them to produce two sureties each for whom the cash sum of N10m should be deposited in the court’s account.
She ordered the defendants to report to the Commissioners of Police in their various states of residence every two weeks.
She ordered Chimezie to report to the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State; Onwudiwe and Nwawuisi to the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State while Madubugwu to the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State.