The secessionist group, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, has condemned the barring of members of the public and reporters from the court proceedings of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
It accused the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho of a federal high court in Abuja, of “effectively commencing the secret trial of Kanu”.
IPOB made this known in a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Officer, Emma Powerful, on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the admittance of only “a handful of journalists” to cover the court proceeding on Tuesday in Abuja, and the barring of other members of the public from the session, was contradictory.
The group said by limiting the number of journalists and members of the public at the court session, the trial judge had reversed himself on his earlier ruling that the trial would be made open.
The statement said: “Justice John Tsoho has now effectively instituted a secret trial because the public were barred from attending the hearing on April 5, 2016.
“Only a handful of journalists were permitted to cover the proceedings. This is against an earlier court ruling that the trial will be held in the open”.
IPOB also faulted Justice Tsoho for allowing counsel to the Department of State Services (DSS), who interrogated Kanu and two others standing trial with him while in its custody, to aid the leading prosecutor despite his being barred from appearing for the prosecuting counsel.