-Judiciary correspondent, Abuja
There is a heavy security presence at the Federal High Court, venue of the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Mr. Kanu’s trial was abruptly suspended on December 13 after he and other defendants angrily challenged the court’s decision to allow the use of “protected” witnesses.
Mr. Kanu, and three others, David Nwawuisi, Benjamin Madubugwu and Chidiebere Onwudiwe, are accused of treasonable felony.
The judge, Binta Nyako, had ruled in December that witnesses would be allowed some degree of protection.
“The counsels and the defendants will see the witnesses. The witnesses will have special entrances to and outside the court,” the judge said.
Mrs. Nyako also said the court would allow the witnesses to be shielded with screen-guards. She said the court would set aside two days for rehearsals on how the witnesses will come into the court and depart from the court.
The ruling was enforced Tuesday, with screen-guards shielding the judge, defendant and witnesses from the rest of the court.
Tuesday’s session is holding under tight security.
A large number of armed security officers comprising mainly of mobile police officers and operatives of the State Security Service gathered in front of the court on Tuesday, while court security personnel barred journalists from entering the building.
The officers working for the court said they had orders not to let journalists in, except those with Federal High Court tags.
Some journalists were later allowed in after Mr. Kanu’s lawyer intervened.