“Even If It Takes 20 Years, We Will Not Allow Witness Secrecy Trial” — Nnamdi Kanu's Wife…

The wife of separatist movement leader Nnamdi Kanu is not surprised by the Nigerian High Court’s decision to protect the identity of prosecution witnesses. Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) and director of UK-based Radio Biafra, is standing trial on 11 counts of treasonable felony.

Pro-Biafrans are calling for the independence of contested Biafran territories forcibly annexed to Nigeria during British colonisation. The Federal High Court of Abuja ruled, on 13 December, that witnesses testifying against Kanu would be protected by screens and would be using separate entrances to enter the court, local media reported. Kanu’s defence team is appealing against the ruling, arguing that it goes against the principles of a fair trial. “The ruling is not surprising, I knew that she [Justice Binta Nyako] was going to rule against us,” Kanu’s wife, Uchechi Okwu-Kanu, told IBTimes UK. “Binta Nyako is not an unfair person, looking at her previous cases, but her husband has a case with the government. He was released, but her son is still in custody, so she would not jeopardise the lives of her husband and son for Nnamdi Kanu,” she alleged. Okwu-Kanu, who said she is not allowed to communicate with her husband, also alleged President Muhammadu Buhari is behind the trial. “They don’t have evidence against my husband, there is no case here, they have changed the charges several times,” she said. “He has been accused in the public, they killed several Biafrans in the public, so why try him in secret? We will never allow this to happen, even if takes 20 years. “How many Boko Haram members have they tried in secret? Nnmadi Kanu is a freedom fighter, not a terrorist. Buhari should re-think this and leave this case alone, if he believes in justice.” Kanu, who holds both British and a Nigerian passports, was arrested in Lagos on 14 October 2015. He is standing trial along with Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.