Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Eze Ndigbo’s terrorism trial stalled over counsel’s absence

Eze Ndigbo is in court on nine counts bordering on an attempt to commit acts of terrorism, financing terrorism, participating in terrorism and meeting to support IPOB.

• April 16, 2024
Frederick Nwajagu (Eze Ndigbo)
Frederick Nwajagu (Eze Ndigbo) [Credit; Odogwu Blog]

The adoption of written addresses in the trial of Eze Ndigbo of Ajao Estate, Lagos, Frederick Nwajagu, charged with terrorism offences, was stalled on Tuesday due to his counsel’s absence.

Mr Nwajagu is standing trial before a Lagos High Court at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

He is in court on nine counts bordering on an attempt to commit acts of terrorism, financing terrorism, participating in terrorism and meeting to support a proscribed entity.

When the case was called on Tuesday, the Director for Public Prosecutions, Babajide Martins, told the court that the defendant’s counsel, Emefo Etudo, had called him on the phone and asked to stand down the case.

He said the counsel was at a court in Ikeja in another case.

However, a counsel from the same firm, Fabian Onwughalu, told the court that the lead counsel was with the court processes.

He urged the court to adjourn the case.

Justice Yetunde Adesanya, however, adjourned the case until May 9 for the adoption of written addresses.

At the last proceeding, the defendant said he did not know there was a law prohibiting a person from mentioning the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The defendant denied ever referring to himself as a king but a leader to the Igbo-speaking people in Ajao Estate.

He said the video shown to the court where he was talking was not the original but an edited one.

However, Mr Nwajagu noted that what he said in his house was an empty threat to calm the Igbo.

On July 25, 2023, the defendant applied for bail, citing his medical reports and adding that he was not a flight risk.

On July 28, 2023, the court refused the bail application based on the seriousness of the offence and the severity of the punishment.

In a suit marked no: LD/21505C/2023, the Lagos State government alleged that the defendant’s acts contravened section 403(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The state stated that the offences contravened sections 12(a) (c), 18, 21 and 29 of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

Mr Nwajagu was arrested by the operatives of the State Security Service over an alleged threat to invite members of IPOB to Lagos to secure the properties of the Igbo people in the state.

(NAN)

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