Nigerian authorities have released new guidelines for federal high court trials of people accused of terrorism.
According to a statement from the Nigerian federal court, the measures include a prohibition on media coverage of court proceedings unless ordered by the trial judge.
Courtrooms will only be open to judges, lawyers, and parties involved in a case. During such trials, there will be strong security, with the public being prevented from entering the perimeter radius around the courthouse.
For the sake of their safety, the identity and contact information of victims and witnesses will not be revealed.
Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, the chief judge of the federal high court, gave the new ‘’Federal High Court practice directions’’ to ensure ‘’security and safety’’, the statement noted.
Anyone who violates the standards “will be judged to have committed an infraction against to the country’s anti-terrorism statute,” according to the statement.
The officials claim that the measures announced on Thursday are effective immediately.
This development comes a day before Nnamdi Kanu’s trial, the head of the outlawed separatist organisation known as the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra IPOB, begins.
It would be recalled that in 2015, Nnamdi Kanu was first charged and arrested for treason, unlawful possession of arms, and illegal importation of broadcast equipment at a Federal High Court in Abuja in 2015. Fast forward to June 29, 2021, the controversial secessionist was arrested and extradited back to Nigeria.
His arrest led to IPOB declaring a Monday sit-at-home order across the South-East, a directive which grounded economic and business activities in the region.
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