The lead defence counsel of the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, Chuks Mouma, SAN, on Monday said his appearance in the ongoing trial may be limited.
Mouma said this at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja during the resumed trial of Kanu who is facing treason charges, alongside two others, Benjamin Madubgwu and James Nwabwuisi.
Shortly after making an appearance, Mouma informed the court that he was appearing for just two of the three accused persons and as such demanded an explanation as to why he was not informed earlier.
“When I arrived Abuja yesterday, I received a truncated instruction to appear for the 1st and the 3rd defendant.
“On arrival, I was told of another counsel representing one of the accused persons.
“I came to court today out of courtesy to the court. My conscience will make it impossible for me to behave as if I’m not aware of the abaration of the instructions.
“I’m the lead counsel in this matter and courtesy demands that any introduction of counsels should be done through me.
“I’m a very busy counsel, I don’t look for briefs, briefs look for me. I demand an explanation of this embarrassment and until that is done my appearance in this matter will be conditional.”
The counsel in contention, Amobi Nzelo, explain that he was not taking brief from the lead counsel but was out to ensure that justice is done in the matter.
“Only yesterday at Kuje prison, I was told that I will be representing the 2nd defendant and I call one of the defence counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor who said he was aware of the change.
“I’m not here to take brief from the lead counsel,” Nzelo said.
Nzelo explained that the constitution allows for an accused person to counsel of his choice.
Following this objection, the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho asked the second accused person, Madubgwu to clarify the matter and he insisted that Nzelo was his counsel.
“I want to make it clear to the whole world that Amobi Nzelo is my lawyer,” Madubgwu said.