Nnamdi Kanu Senator Abaribe begs court to be discharged as IPOB leader's surety

The lawmaker pleaded to the court to discharge him entirely from the incident of Kanu's bail.

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Inspect Nnamdi Kanu's home in Abia - Senator Abaribe play

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

(Ripples Nigeria)
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Lawmaker representing Abia south senatorial district, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, filed an application before Justice Binta Nyako's Federal High Court to be discharged as a surety in the bail bond of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

The lawmaker pleaded to the court to discharge him entirely from the incident of Kanu's bail as the IPOB leader failed to appear before the court for his trial to defend himself against charges of conspiracy and treasonable felony.

Political activist and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement, Nnamdi Kanu, whose organisation has been branded a 'militant terrorist organisation' by the Nigerian state play Kanu failed to appear in court for his treason trial on Tuesday, putting his three sureties at risk (AFP/File)

 

His application read, "Since the afore stated visit of the Nigerian Army to the residence of the first defendant from September 11, 2017, the second respondent (Kanu) in this suit has not been seen again nor reached on phone, neither is he reported in any news media as seen by any person nor made any statement on any issue.

"The activities of the Nigerian Army as affecting the first respondent are matters of state secret incapable of being unravelled by the applicant which activities has put the second respondent out of the reach of the applicant such that the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to produce the second respondent before this court at any subsequent date.

"The applicant lacks capacity to produce a person stated by the first respondent to be a member of a terrorist organization or any person who the first respondent is reported to be interested in his whereabouts in the aftermath of the military operation in Abia state."

In her response, Justice Nyako said the lawmaker's only options were to either produce the defendant, forfeit his N100 million bail bond or ask for time to produce Kanu.

She said, "Even if you apply from today till next year, this court will only have one of these three options for you: produce the defendant, pay the bond or demand for time to come and explain to court."

Senator Abaribe's counsel, Mr. Ogechi Ogunna, opted to ask the court for more time to produce the IPOB leader.

Kanu has not been seen in public since September 14 after the military's alleged invasion of his father's home in Umuahia.

While IPOB insists that he's in the military's custody, the government has always maintained that he has gone into hiding to avoid prosecution with other rumours circulating that he might have even escaped to the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, his counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, announced the appearance of the IPOB leader in court, but alleged that he is in custody of the government.

"The Nigerian Army invaded his house and killed 28 people. I do not even know if he is alive or dead. The soldiers are in a better position to tell us," he said.

While condemning Kanu's failure to appear as a "a grave violation of the order of this court", the prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, urged Justice Nyako to revoke his bail and order the three sureties that facilitated his release to "show cause why the bail bond of N100m entered into by each shall not be forfeited or they be committed to prison."

Kanu was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) in 2015 and spent two years in custody until he was granted bail on health grounds in April 2017.

ALSO READ: Nnamdi Kanu fails to show up in court for treason trial

The bail was granted bail by Justice Nyako on Tuesday, April 25, with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Jewish High Chief Priest, Immanuu-El Shalom Okabemadu and a Chartered Accountant resident in Abuja, Tochukwu Uchendu, signing his bail bond.

Justice Nyako adjourned the case till November 20, 2017.

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