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Nigeria: Court drops charges against separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu

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More than half of the charges against Nigerian separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu have been dismissed.

A high court judge Justice Binta Nyako on Friday in the capital Abuja, struck out eight of the 15 counts filed against Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Mr Kanu was accused of various offences in the 15 counts, including treasonable felony and terrorism, offences he allegedly committed in the course of his separatist campaigns.

He had pleaded not guilty to all the 15 amended charges. His group IPOB wants a breakaway state in south-east Nigeria where mainly Igbo people live.

Initially arrested in 2015, Kanu fled the west African nation in 2017 while out on bail.

He was captured abroad in June 2021 and repatriated, which his lawyers have argued breaches international law. 

But in a separate ruling on Friday, the court validated the government's repatriation of Kanu from Kenya to face the charges pending against him in Nigeria.

The 54-year-old has been held in solitary confinement, in the custody of the Nigerian secret police since then. 

A new hearing is scheduled for 18 May.

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